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Nowhere Boy is a timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Together, Max and Ahmed' will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes.

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Nowhere Boy is a timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Together, Max and Ahmed' will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes.

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Katherine Marsh



Katherine Marsh is the Edgar Award-winning author ofThe Night Tourist; The Twilight Prisoner; Jepp, Who Defied the Stars; and The Doors by the Staircase. Katherine grew up in New York and now lives in Brussels, Belgium, with her husband and two children. katherinemarsh.com

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"A resistance novel for our time."—The New York Times

2021 Sasquatch Nominee (Washington Library Association)

2019 Winner of the International Literacy Association’s Social Justice Literature Award

2021 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Nominee (Illinois Children’s Choice)

2019 Winner of the Polish Bloggers Best Non-Adult Fiction Book

2019 #1 Top Teen Title of the Pike’s Peak (Colorado Springs, CO) Library System

2019 Winner of the Middle East Book Award

2020 Indiana Library Federation Read Aloud

2020 Sequoyah Book Award Nominee (Oklahoma Library Association)

Winner of the Vlag en Wimpel Dutch Children’s Book Award

2019 Bank Street Best Children’s Book

2019 American Library Association Notable

2018 New York Times Notable

2018 Washington Post Best Children’s Book

2018 Chicago Public Library Best Book

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A People magazine August 2018 Kid Pick

“A hopeful story about recovery, empathy, and the bravery of young people." - Booklist

★"A captivating book situated in present-day discourse around the refugee crisis, featuring two boys who stand by their high values in the face of grave risk and succeed in drawing goodwill from others." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★"A complicated and realistic story of European geopolitics past and present." - BCCB, starred review

★"Thoughtfully touching on immigration, Islamophobia, and terrorism, this novel is a first-purchase. Hands to fans of Alan Gratz’s Refugee." - School Library Journal, starred review

★"Marsh offers a timely and entertaining tale of suspense and intrigue while eloquently conveying the courage necessary to trust another person in a climate rife with fear, suspicion, and ethical dilemmas." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

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