The Stars Beneath Our Feet

Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“The right story at the right time.... It’s not just a narrative; it’s an experience. It’s the novel we’ve been waiting for.” (The New York Times)

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 celebrates community and creativity. Winner of the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent and soon to be a major motion picture directed by Michael B. Jordan!

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.

A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine Top 10 Children’s Books of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Children’s Book of the Year
Six Starred Reviews

“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 author 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)

©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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My 7th graders enjoyed it!

I used this book with my 7th grade class. Our discussions were lively and personal.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

This book should be a part of the NYC school reading list. It is culturally relevant to many young men and women growing up in the inner cities of NYC and across the U.S

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it.The narrator made it 10x better.

I felt like the narrator was actually lolly and that help me with the story. I finished this book in one day because I couldnt stop listening. the chapters are short but pack in a lot of ways to make you laugh, cry, and mad. highly recommend