-Pigeon English-


We start by witnessing a crime in London wherein a young boy has been murdered and the police are struggling to come up with any sort of explanation or answer. This induces our protagonist, Harri, to do his own investigative work despite only being 11. 

He lives in London with his mother and older sister after moving from Ghana. Harri’s father and younger sister still reside in Ghana but there are hopes that they’ll soon join them after raising the necessary money. 


Harri was only half friends with the murdered boy but he feels he must do his part of find justice. X-fire, a gang leader, demonstrates how to shank someone whilst at school and uses Harri as his subject. This makes Harri instantly suspicious. 


No one seems confident enough to give information about the crime, and so Harri then gathers the help of his friend Dean. They start by interviewing suspects they have decided upon. They find themselves becoming intensely suspicious of the Dell Farm Crew, a gang in the neighbourhood. 


The gang soon grows aware of Harri and Dean’s investigation, causing them to start bullying them more and more. They even go on to force Harri into their actions, such as robbing an old man in Harri’s church. After this, Harri swears to never help them again and he also finds that he is confident that one of them committed the earlier crime. 


Though Harri finds himself being bullied more and more, he keeps on with his investigation and their dedication eventually scores them the murdered boy’s wallet. It is covered in blood. However, X-fire snatches the wallet and burns the picture of the boy within it. The Cree grow afraid that Harri will uncover the truth. 


One night, when Harri is walking home after school, the gang ambush him and stab him to death. Harri uses his last moments to think of his younger sister though he cannot, stating that ‘all babies look the same’. 

Pigeon English

The novel opens with the death of a young boy on the fictional Dell farm estate in an unspecified area of London. Harrison Opoku or ‘Harri’, is a recent Ghanaian immigrant living with his mother and sisters. He becomes an amateur detective and tries to solve the murder of a boy who was murdered outside of a fast food restaurant. His experiences also illustrate the problems gangs, immigration struggles and poverty. 

His best friend Dean, Harrison shares  his thoughts, impressions and experiences of growing up in an environment beset with pressures and threats. The novel explores his attempts to remain good despite the corrupting forces around him. Harrison then befriends a pigeon, which narrates part of the book.

Eventually, he traces the murderers as a gang of teenagers, only to be murdered at the end.

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