Wallace, better known as Lolly, lives in the Harlem projects. His parents are divorced, his brother is dead, his mom has a girlfriend, and two kids just outside the neighborhood are threatening him and his best friend Vega. The thing that keeps him sane through all of this is his Legos, lots and lots of Legos. One day, he stops creating replicas of the kits, and starts building his own stuff. When there’s no more room in the apartment, he turns to the after-school center in the projects, and that’s when he meets Rose, who though very different from Lolly and all his friends, bonds over their shared desire to build stuff. Lolly has to work through his grief over his brother, and still try to figure out how to navigate the projects so he doesn’t go down the same path. What an amazing kid Lolly is, and what a great book Moore’s first novel is!— Daniel Goldin
Featured on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother's death in this outstanding debut novel that's been described as a "fast and furious read in which we meet some amazing people, people that stay with us" by Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor and National Book Award-winning author.
It's Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren't celebrating. They're still reeling from his older brother's death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly's mother's girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly's always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward. His path isn't clear--and the pressure to join a "crew," as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape--and an unexpected bridge back to the world. David Barclay Moore paints a powerful portrait of a boy teetering on the edge--of adolescence, of grief, of violence--and shows how Lolly's inventive spirit helps him build a life with firm foundations and open doors.
Praise for The Stars Beneath Our Feet SIX STARRED REVIEWS "The Stars Beneath Our Feet is the book I've been waiting for. Rarely do you see this side of New York rendered so authentically and generously. So much heart here. And so much talent." --Matt de la Pena, Newbery Award-winning author of Last Stop on Market Street "The Stars Beneath Our Feet is a fast and furious read in which we meet some amazing people, people that stay with us. David Barclay Moore is an exciting new voice. We definitely haven't heard the last of his brilliance." --Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor and National Book Award-winning of Brown Girl Dreaming
"The Stars Beneath Our Feet is about the weight of the world on the back of a child, and the creative tools necessary to alleviate that pressure. I found myself rooting for Lolly, and you will too." --Jason Reynolds, Coretta Scott King Honor Winner for As Brave As You
About the Author
DAVID BARCLAY MOORE was born and raised in Missouri. After studying creative writing at Iowa State University, film at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and language studies at l'Universite de Montpellier in France, David moved to New York City, where he has served as communications coordinator for Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone and communications manager for Quality Services for the Autism Community. He has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Yaddo, and the Wellspring Foundation. He was also a semi-finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. David now lives, works, and explores in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow him online at DavidBarclayMoore.com, on Twitter at @dbarclaymoore, and on Instagram at dbarclaymoore.