Penguin Random House has shared an excerpt from The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore.
‘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.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet is the winner of the Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe Award for new talent. Black Panther star Michael B Jordan will make his directorial debut in the movie adaptation of the book.
Read the excerpt:
What I couldn’t get out of my skull was the thought of their rough, grimy hands all over my clean sneaks. What I couldn’t get out of my heart was this joy-grabbing stone I felt there. Partly because of these two thugs trailing me now, but more because I knew Jermaine wouldn’t be here to protect my neck this time.
He would never, ever be coming home.
My daddy, Benny Rachpaul, had bought me these sneakers when I turned twelve over the summer. I wasn’t about to let two older boys strolling down 125th Street snatch them off me.
Besides me being humiliated by it, my mother would whup my butt if she knew I had let some dudes swipe my shoes. And then, when he found out, Daddy Rachpaul would drive over and whup me again.
I flipped up the collar of my blue parka and continued down 125th Street, but rushed my step a little bit more. I heard the two boys following me quicken their pace. Their footsteps behind me crunched on the ice that much faster. My heart was beating faster too.
The streets around me were cheery, though. Harlem’s main street was laid out tonight with bright lights, and Christmas tunes played constant on loudspeakers. I guess to put you more in the Christmas spirit.
But for me, there was nothing, and I mean nothing, that would ever make me feel Christmassy again. I was through with it.