||It's been more than two years since his mother died, but 13-year-old Lafayette still blames himself for her death since he was one the one who found her after she slipped into a diabetic coma. Lafayette's feelings are mirrored by those of his older brother, Ty'ree, who feels guilty because he was unable to save their father who drowned years ago while rescuing a swimmer. Following their mother's death, Ty'ree put a scholarship to MIT on hold and became the guardian of Lafayette and their middle brother, Charlie. Charlie, however, has been serving time at the Rahway Home for Boys for his part in an armed robbery. When Charlie is released and returns home, Lafayette and Ty'ree welcome him back to the family and struggle to help him straighten out his life. Winner of the 2001 Coretta Scott King Author Award.