The Stars Beneath Our Feet
Lolly Rachpaul's older brother, Jermaine, was shot and killed and Lolly keeps erupting in anger. He's scared, too; living in the St. Nick projects in Harlem, he's always on guard. Some of the older kids in the neighborhood are pressuring Lolly to join a "crew," but what Lolly really wants to do is keep working on the one thing that, as he says, "Makes me me": Legos.
Following the instructions has always been important to him, but after Jermaine's death, Lolly begins creating cities. When his mother's girlfriend starts bringing home garbage bags full of cast-off Lego bricks from her custodian job, Lolly's ambitions--and his city--grow.
Soon, he moves his building site to the community center. When a girl he and his classmates call Big Rose shows up at the door wanting to build, too, Lolly is furious. Little by little, though, he finds that it is nice to share his passion for building--or for a life that does not involve a gang.
David Barclay Moore's magnificent debut novel, The Stars Beneath Our Feet, is a story about making choices. "The folks you hang out with can raise you up or bring you down low," Lolly discovers. It's up to him to choose. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor