In summer, when the heat of the day lingers in the brick row homes on Regent Street, children gather in the street for their favorite summertime sport: barefoot races. No one knows why the kids race barefoot. Some think it's because running shoes cost too much money. Others think it's because the kids throw all their shoes up on the telephone wires. But whenever anyone asked Luigi Lenzini, the legendary barefoot racer of Regent Street just said, "Shoes slow you down."
Stories are still told of the kid who never lost a race. This is the tale of his greatest challenge—the race nobody thought he could win, not even Luigi himself.
"Paley sets a breathless pace that keeps readers guessing. The tale is told by a nostalgic witness, and it captures a strong sense of neighborhood pride. Boyd's bright illustrations move right along with the action and depict a multicultural community from a variety of panoramic and close-up perspectives. An afterword tells of the author's Philadelphia childhood and provides information about tall tales. Cheers for Luigi." -Kirkus Reviews