Meet David Barclay Moore, whose debut mid-grade novel, The Stars Beneath Our Feet, releases on September 19 from Knopf Books for Young Readers. In conversation with Kari Kelly, Curious Iguana’s children’s book buyer, David will discuss his new book, recommended for ages 10 and up, and how books are an important tool for helping young readers see the world differently. Event is free and open to the public; no reservations required.
ABOUT THE BOOK: A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death in David Barclay Moore’s 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” (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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Barclay Moore was born and raised in Missouri. 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 communications coordinator for Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone and communications manager for Quality Services for the Autism Community. He has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Yaddo, and the Wellspring Foundation and was also a semi-finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. David now lives, works, and explores in Brooklyn, NY. You can follow him online at DavidBarclayMoore.com, on Twitter at @dbarclaymoore, and on Instagram at dbarclaymoore.