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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 Newbery Honor and National Book Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson.

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.

Advance praise:
"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 Peña, 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

Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Follow DAVID BARCLAY MOORE online at DavidBarclayMoore.com, on Twitter at @dbarclaymoore and on Instagram at dbarclaymoore.

Writer, filmmaker, super geek, cherry cobbler gobbler. Knows the Death Star plans backward and forward. Adores Mark Twain, Haruki Murakami and old Prince. Loves the ocean. Sincerely wants to fly. David is constantly trying to see the world differently.

He was born and raised in Missouri where he read too many novels and comic books as a child. After studying creative writing at Iowa State University, film at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and language studies at l'Université de Montpellier in France, David moved to New York City, where he has served as technical producer for Sony StudiOne, communications coordinator for Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone and communications manager for Quality Services for the Autism Community.

David 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.

He now lives, works and eats Twizzlers in Brooklyn.

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