To know the street, you've got to live the street...
'Everyone was out there and there were gunshots. Bang, bang, bang. It was hectic. Someone had been shot. I didn't know the guy. We were all young. There was blood everywhere man. He'd been shot in the face.'
This is the story of JaJa, Phat Si, Inch, Birdie, Ribz, Tana and Tempman.These 7 young men each have one thing in common – they grew up on the Angell Town estate. Living on one of the most deprived estates in the UK, the boys form a misfit family, a gang called the PDC, the Peel Dem Crew – their answer to the chaos of life on the estate.
Ribz's mother sells crack and is sent to prison. Ribz doesn't know who his father is but does know that his father has an unknown number of children all living in Angell Town. Phat Si comes home from school to find his mother gone, so he takes to the streets. He's 8 years old.
JaJa witnesses his mother beaten by his father every day, until eventually they run away to London and to the Angell Town estate. He movingly describes his slow descent from petty theft to armed robbery as life amongst Yardies and prostitutes in Angell Town engulfs him.
'From about 10 years old I went by myself, robbing people. Crime just got me. It got bigger and bigger until it was like an addiction. When I bought my first pair of trainers myself, that's when it became a problem. I see my friends with new trainers and it used to play on my mind and I thought "I know how to get it". So I went out and got it.'
Behind the screaming headlines and terrifying statistics on guns, gangs and youth crime pouring from estates all over Britain, lie the broken lives of these young boys. As they grow up and friends are shot and stabbed around them, the boys struggle to find a way out of the chaos.
This beautifully written book tells a powerful true story that will haunt the reader long after finishing.