A moving middle-grade mystery about a boy dealing with long-repressed memories of his father as he learns about his Mexican and Haitian heritage while spying on a mysterious stranger during the first weeks of COVID lockdown.
Lalo Lesperance lives with his older brother and Mexican American mother in a low-income apartment building in Fort Myers. They moved there from a subdivision after the family lost Lalo’s Haitian American father. At school, Lalo is known as the boy who can’t remember anything and needs special help in all his classes. But when the first COVID lockdown hits, he finds himself in a friendship of convenience with Vivi, a Mexican American kid his age who gets perfect grades and who never gave him a second thought when they were in school. Vivi’s abuela watches the kids while their mothers work long shifts as nurses at a clinic slammed by COVID. As Lalo navigates his much smaller pandemic world, he discovers his apartment building has its own mysteries, like a sinister stranger in an old RV and a storage closet full of junk, including an old radio that just might hold the key to remembering why Lalo’s family moved to the apartment and what happened to his father.