We loved this book! But then, we kinda knew we were going to, just from the cover. I mean, Legos. Does it get any better than that?
Lolly's brother was shot and killed. He's got a lot of grief to work through, a hard knot in his heart that just won't melt, except when he makes fun of people, makes them feel just as bad as he does.
Then his mother's girlfriend, Yvonne, who works security at a local toy store, brings home some bags full of Legos she claims the store is "throwing away." (?! I know, right? Sorry, as a parent, I have to interject here that I knew right away that Legos are never thrown away, even -- especially - those used in displays, but it was...plausible?). Lolly begins building, and his city is amazing...but his mom's going to kick it out of the house, it's taken over all her space.
At about the same time a new student, Rose, starts at the local after-school center. She doesn't talk much (hardly at all) but she's huge and strong and she defends Lolly from the neighborhood 'hoods one day.
At the same time, Lolly's counseling with the center's director isn't going so well. For very different reasons, they get the idea to let Lolly build with his Legos in a small room. It's described as a "closet" but you get the sense it's way bigger than that.
The door is locked and Lolly builds, working through that horrible knot, until one day the door's open and...Rose is inside building. Lolly wavers -- will he be a bully to Rose, or will he rise to the occasion (yes!) and treat her well? It takes some time, there are some bumps in the road (get it? Legos have bumps..?), but eventually the two end up touring NYC, studying all the architecture.
I won't spoil how this ends. Just know, there were tears a plenty, and a soaring sense of hope. We loved this one!