Monday, September 18, 2017

THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET by David Barclay Moore for Diversity Monday



Welcome to another Diversity Monday!






The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore (September 19, 2017, Knopf/Penguin Random House, 304 pages, ages 10 and up)

Synopsis (from the publisher)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.


Why I recommend it: The title drew me in and then the voice captivated me and enveloped me as if Lolly were right there in the room, whispering his story into my ear. The author presents an authentic portrait of a boy growing up in the projects, with all the pressures of life in Harlem. A gripping story and a beautiful, important book that deserves to win awards.

Oh, and then there are the Legos! My older son still loves Legos and he's not even a kid anymore, so I could relate to Lolly's passion for building.


Favorite lines:  "I waded my hands through all the Legos some more. There were so many. They made a sound like money, like quarters tumbling together."  (from p. 31)


Bonus: Writers, study this one for character growth. The realistic way Lolly changes how he sees the world makes him feel like an actual person, not a character in a book. This is also a moving portrayal of a boy coming to terms with grief.


David Barclay Moore's website

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15 comments:

  1. Love the cover and the story line grabbed me right away.Thanks for featuring. I've put this high up on my reading pile.

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    1. You're welcome, Greg. I agree - the cover's great. Those colorful Legos draw you in.

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  2. This sounds unique and intriging! And the Lego line reminds me of when my kids were younger. :-) I love Legos.

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    1. A lot of people seem to love Legos, Barbara! And welcome back to the blogosphere. It's been too long.

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  3. Oh yes, the Lego really draw me in too. Reminds me of times playing with my cousins when they were kids and my daughter. Plus the setting and story line sound good too.

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    1. It's a wonderful book, Natalie. I won't be at all surprised when it wins awards.

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  4. This sounds like an amazing and important book. I will be looking for it. Thanks for the review.

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  5. This sounds like a deep and probing book. Like you, I love the title. That alone attracted me until I read your review. Now it sounds like a"must read". Thanks for such a good review.

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    1. It's definitely a must-read, Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. How did I miss your review last week! The story line sounds very engaging. The title is intriguing and draws you to the story. Great review.

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    1. No worries, Patricia. I can't always visit every blog every week. Thanks so much.

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  7. This sounds so good~ I didn't realize it's out already~ putting a hold at the library now!

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