Harrison lives with Mamma and Lydia. They have just arrived in London from Ghana; Mum is a midwife, Dad is still in Ghana with baby sister. Mum has to pay off Aunt Sonia's boyfriend Julius, a thuggish debt collector and people trafficker. Harri is learning about Britain and school and growing up in year 7.
There is so much to learn and the environment is dangerous. Ex Army Terry Takeway and his dog Asbo steal. Harri wants to join Killa's gang but initiation means doing bad things including mugging an old man from Harri's church. Miquita teaches Harri how to kiss. And Harri talks to the pigeon who becomes his guardian angel.
Harri and friend Dean decide to detect the murderer of a dead boy. As they stumble across clues they don't understand they place themselves further and further in peril. It is almost a race to see whether Harri will lose his life or his innocence first.
A well-crafted novel told from the point of view of a young boy who has so much potential in a world which has so much to lose.
This book was nominated for the 2011 Booker along with Jamrach's Menagerie but they both lost to A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57