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Publisher's Summary

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 12-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.

©2017 David Barclay Moore (P)2017 Listening Libary

Critic Reviews

"A debut that serves as a powerful instructive for writing from and reading the intersections - 125th Street-size intersections for all readers to enjoy." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Debut author Moore delivers a realistic and at times brutal portrait of life for young people of color who are living on the edge of poverty. At the same time, Moore infuses the story with hope and aspiration, giving Lolly the chance to find salvation through creativity." (Publishers Weekly)

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