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Pigeon English. Stephen Kelman
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Acquired in a hotly contested, 12-publisher auction, and with rights sold all over the world, Pigeon English has already attracted a great deal of media attention and Stephen Kelman has appeared on Newsnight and BBC Radio 4's Today Programme Publication will be backed with BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime; major serial; TV, radio and press coverage; nationwide author tour; outdoor advertising and dedicated website Stephen Kelman writes from the heart, drawing on the environment of his own childhood

Stephen Kelman was born in Luton in 1976. After finishing his degree he worked variously as a warehouse operative, a careworker, and in marketing and local government administration. He decided to pursue his writing seriously in 2005, and has completed several feature screenplays since then. Pigeon English is his first novel.

About the Author

Stephen Kelman was born in Luton in 1976. After finishing his degree he worked variously as a warehouse operative, a careworker, and in marketing and local government administration. He decided to pursue his writing seriously in 2005, and has completed several feature screenplays since then. Pigeon English is his first novel.

Reviews

'Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph' Emma Donoghue, author of Room 'A powerful and impressive novel ... Kelman knows the world of boys - their language, their humour, their thoughts - and Harri's voice is dazzlingly authentic. Utterly convincing and deeply moving, this is a book that we should all read' Clare Morrall, author of The Man Who Disappeared

Ten-year-old Harrison Opuku has recently immigrated to London from Ghana. Harri is a joyous child who loves everyone-the pigeon on his balcony, his baby sister still in Ghana, the girl who sits next to him in class, his parents, his teachers, and the neighborhood thief with an appealing dog. Less easy to like, let alone love, are the members of the Dell Farm Crew, a local gang whose threats make every school day a challenge. When a classmate is murdered, Harri and his friend decide to discover the killer. As this charming boy gets closer to a solution, readers will feel their adrenaline start pumping, hoping Harri will succeed and remain safe. VERDICT Narrated by Harri in a laugh-out-loud combination of Ghanaian and British slang, this first novel places readers in the London of large housing projects where legal and illegal immigrants struggle to make new lives for themselves, where crime is a way of life, and where a good-hearted boy is an anomaly. If your patrons liked Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and if they rooted for Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire, they will love Harri Opuku. [See Prepub Alert, 1/17/11.]-Andrea Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kelman's debut novel is a well-tuned if simplistic portrait of a kid's life in the housing projects of London. After 11-year-old Harri, whose family has immigrated from Ghana, sees a classmate lying dead on the sidewalk one night, Harri and his buddy, Dean Griffin, set out to solve the murder, looking for the murder weapon, interviewing suspects, and gathering evidence. But the strength of this novel is not its murder mystery; rather, it's in hearing all Harri's thoughts as he falls in love, talks to his baby sister, or expresses himself in his own idiosyncratic language. The street-talk slang that Harri uses-boring things take "donkey hours" and Nike Air trainers are "bo-styles"-is crisp and mirthful, the perfect match to his at once naive and revealing views on things like religion and race. The main flaw is also a feature: Harri's a very well-drawn 11-year-old, and no matter how cute he and his worldview are, it's sometimes tempting to want to pat him on the head and send him along his way. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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