Winner of the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent
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
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year
A YALSA Quick Pick
An ALA Notable Book
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.
Age Range: 10 and Up | Grade Level: 5 and Up | Lexile Measure: 650L