Pigeon EnglishBook - 2011
"Pigeon English is a triumph." -- Emma Donoghue, author of Room
Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and the 2011 Guardian First Book Award
Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate in London, England. The second-best runner in his grade, Harri races through his new life in his personalized trainers -- the Adidas stripes drawn on with black marker -- blissfully unaware of the very real threat around him.
With equal fascination for the local gang -- the Dell Farm Crew --and the pigeon who visits his balcony, Harri absorbs the many strange elements that surround him: watching, listening, and learning the tricks of inner-city survival. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own, unwittingly endangering the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to keep them safe.
A deeply funny, moving, and unforgettable story of innocence and experience, hope and harsh reality, Pigeon English is a spellbinding portrayal of a boy balancing on the edge of manhood and of the forces around him that try to shape the way he falls.
From the critics
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I don't have a favourite raindrop, they're all as good as each other. They're all the best. That's what I think anyway. I always look up at the sky when it's raining. It feels brutal. It's a bit hutious because the rain's so big and fast and you think it will go in your eye. But you have to keep your eyes open or you won't get the feeling. I try to follow one raindrop all the way down from the cloud to the ground. Asweh, it's impossible. All you can see is the rain. You can't follow just one raindrop, it's too busy and all the other raindrops get in the way.
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