Pidgeon English by Stephen Kelman

About the book

Eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku, the second best runner in Year 7, races through his new life in England with his personalised trainers – the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen – blissfully unaware of the very real threat around him. Newly-arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister Lydia, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of city life, from the bewildering array of Haribo sweets, to the frightening, fascinating gang of older boys from his school. But his life is changed forever when one of his friends is murdered. As the victim’s nearly new football boots hang in tribute on railings behind fluorescent tape and a police appeal draws only silence, Harri decides to act, unwittingly endangering the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to keep them safe.

Reviewed by White Lion, Yateley

Gritty and realistic, provoked a good discussion. We liked the innocent view point on the ugly inner-city life. The humour and African spirituality lent a philosophical flavour to the grimness.
Star rating ***

Read the book

Request to borrow a reading group set

4 thoughts on “Pidgeon English by Stephen Kelman”

  1. Review by White Lion, Yateley Reading Group:
    Provoked a good discussion! Gritty, real novel of inner city life; African spirituality brings a philosophical dimension. Well written, humourous, yet conveying the fear and grimness of the housing estate. Very memorable.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by White Lion, Yateley Reading Group:
    Provoked a good discussion! Gritty, real novel of inner city life; African spirituality brings a philosophical dimension. Well written, humourous, yet conveying the fear and grimness of the housing estate. Very memorable.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Little Green Dragon Reading Group:
    Created discussion. Found the ‘street’ language difficult. Not liked but thought provoking for current city/gang life.
    Star rating: **

  4. Review by Women Who Read
    Divided opinions – from brilliant to not engaging.
    Some people found the style difficult whereas others enjoyed the staccato sentences. Some people felt the first part was interesting then it plateaued a bit.
    ** 2 stars

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.