Synopses & Reviews
He thought I'd forged my mom's name on the slip. How stupid is that? On this thing Mom just made a kind of squiggly shape on the page. That jerk didn't even think about what he was saying, didn't even ask himself why her signature might be weird. He's one of those people who think illiteracy is like AIDS. It only exists in Africa.
--from Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow
"A tale for anyone who has ever lived outside looking in, especially from that alien country called adolescence. A funny, heartfelt story from a wise guy who happens to be a girl. If you've ever fallen in love, if you've ever had your heart broken, this story is your story." -- Sandra Cisneros, author of THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET
The Paradise projects are only a few metro stops from Paris, but here it's a whole different kind of France. Doria's father, the Beard, has headed back to their hometown in Morocco, leaving her and her mom to cope with their mektoub—their destiny—alone. They have a little help-- from a social worker sent by the city, a psychiatrist sent by the school, and a thug friend who recites Rimbaud.
It seems like fate’s dealt them an impossible hand, but Doria might still make a new life. She'll prove the projects aren't only about rap, soccer, and religious tension. She’ll take the Arabic word kif-kif (same old, same old) and mix it up with the French verb kiffer (to really like something). Now she has a whole new motto: KIFFE KIFFE TOMORROW.
"Moving and irreverent, sad and funny, full of rage and intelligence. [Guène's] characters are unforgettable, her voice fresh, and her book a delight." -- Laila Lalami, author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
Faïza Guène, the child of Algerian immigrants, grew up in the public housing projects of Pantin, outside Paris. This is her first book.
This hilarious and heartwrenching novel follows eleven-year-old Harri Opuku, recently immigrated from Ghana to the rough housing projects of London, as he tries to navigate inner-city life. See what makes our good-hearted protagonist dope-fine, become acquainted with his bo-styles, and find yourself wanting this touching debut to last donkey hours.
Advise yourself! Its time to jump into Pigeon English
and experience the jubilant, infectious voice of Harrison Opuku. See why he is bo-styles. How being the fastest runner in Year 7 makes him dope-fine. And why, when a hutious criminal feels Harri closing in on him, it just feels crazy. Youll want this book to last donkey hours.
Harri begins his story when he finds himself facing the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, a boy who seems to have been murdered for his dinner. The police have no leads, so Harri and his best friend launch into action. Armed with camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television, they gather evidence — fingerprints lifted from windows with sellotape, a wallet stained with blood — and lay traps to flush out the murderer.
Recently emigrated from Ghana to London and its enormous housing projects, Harri is awed by the city. Filled with curiosity and ebullience — obsessed with gummy candy, a friend to everyone he meets (even the pigeon that visits his balcony) — Harri is still tempted by the glamour and power of the gangs running his neighborhood. His world will be forever altered by the Dell Farm Crew.
And your world will be forever altered by the discovery of the searing, endearing, and virtuosic writing of Stephen Kelman, who, in the great tradition of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, takes us deeply and fully into one boys life.
In this acclaimed debut, Stephen Kelman brings us a “hero for our times,”* a boy with an unforgettable voice and an ebullience that cant help but fill your heart.
Recently emigrated from Ghana to one of Londons enormous housing projects, Harrison Opoku is awed by the city, obsessed with gummy candy, and a friend to everyone he meets. His story begins with the random knifing of one of his schoolmates. The police have no leads, so Harri and his best friend launch into action. Armed with camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from TV, they gather evidence and lay traps to find the murderer. In the great tradition of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Pigeon English takes us deeply and fully into one boys life.
* Mail on Sunday (UK)
"Intelligent, observant." —The New Yorker
"Since Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, there have been certain rules observed when children play detective. Stephen Kelman throws them all out . . .
The mystery is secondary to the pleasures of listening to Harri." —Christian Science Monitor
and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . . .Pigeon English
is a novel for adults told in the remarkable voice of a child. All three virtuosic novels are worth reading if only to enjoy the spell those voices create. In this fine company, Kelman's novel stands out." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"In turns funny and tragic. . . . Its message is universal." -Huffington Post
"If your patrons liked Roddy Doyles Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and if they rooted for Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire, they will love Harri Opuku." —Library Journal, starred review
"Intelligent, observant." —The New Yorker
"If your patrons liked Roddy Doyles Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and if they rooted for Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire, they will love Harri Opoku." —Library Journal, starred review
"In turns funny and tragic . . . Its message is universal." -Huffington Post
Advise yourself! Jump into Pigeon English and experience the jubilant, infectious voice of Harrison Opoku—a boy awed by the city, obsessed with gummy candy, a friend to everyone he meets. See why he is bo-styles. How being the fastest runner in Year 7 makes him dope-fine. And how crazy things get when Harri and his best friend launch their own investigation into the murder of a classmate and one of the Dell Farm Crews hutious criminals feels them closing in on him. Youll want this book to last donkey hours, and youll see why Harri is truly a “hero for our times.”*
"Like Room . . . and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . . . Pigeon English is a novel for adults told in the remarkable voice of a child. In this fine company, Kelman's novel stands out." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Since Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, there have been certain rules observed when children play detective. Stephen Kelman throws them all out." —Christian Science Monitor
Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
Lying in front of Harrison Opoku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, who seems to have been murdered for his dinner. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice. They gather evidenceand#8212;fingerprints lifted from windows with tape, a wallet stained with bloodand#8212;and lay traps to flush out the murderer. But nothing can prepare them for what happens when a criminal feels you closing in on him. Recently emigrated from Ghana with his sister and mother to Londonand#8217;s enormous housing projects, Harri is pure curiosity and ebullienceand#8212;obsessed with gummy candy, a friend to the pigeon who visits his balcony, quite possibly the fastest runner in his school, and clearly also fast on the trail of a murderer. Told in Harri's infectious voice and multicultural slang, Pigeon English follows in the tradition of our great novels of friendship and adventure, as Harri finds wonder, mystery, and danger in his new, ever-expanding world.
About the Author
grew up in the housing projects of Luton, England. He has worked as a careworker, a warehouse operative, in marketing, and in local government administration. Pigeon English
was shortlisted for the Man Booker and andnbsp;Desmond Elliot prizes and was named a and#8220;best first novel of 2011and#8221;* in his native England; it has been published in twenty countries.