Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh @MarshKatherine Publication Day 8-7-18 #MGMustRead

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 Aleppo, 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 from Washington, D.C. 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 of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes. Barbara O’Connor, author of Wish and Wonderland, says “Move Nowhere Boy to the top of your to-be-read pile immediately.”

Every. Single. Child. (5th grade +) Should read this book! I absolutely LOVED it! If you’ve ever read “Save Me a Seat” or Home of the Brave”, you will love this story!

IMPORTANT BACKGROUND … The European system was overwhelmed in the 2015 refugee crisis, as more than a million migrants fled Syria to the EU via Turkey, and it is still creaking.

As an educator recommending this story to children, I would encourage a small research adventure about this time period and subject. The story will be so much clearer and so much more real!

The writer created a likely situation of a 14 year old boy sailing across the seas with his father and a guide. Their goal was to escape terror and make a new start. Ahmed witnesses death, destruction, and loss. He was scared and hopeful at the same time.

Unfortunately, as the seas became rough, Ahmed lost sight of his dad and ended up landing on coast in Belgium. Knowing what would happen to him if caught, Ahmed sought shelter and hid!

Meanwhile, Max, an American 6th grader visiting Belgium was hit with the news from his parents that he would be attending school there for one year while his parents work there. Mad, resentful, and annoyed doesn’t begin to explain how he feels! He doesn’t know the language and it’s so unfair that his older sister doesn’t have to go to a school like this!

The author wrote the most amazing story of an unlikely friendship! You’ll be shocked at how they met, the relationship they develop, and the lengths Max will go to in order to keep his friend safe! Harboring refugees was not looked highly upon in any time era. Knowing that this happened in recent years (2015) makes this story so real to kids!

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED! I’m giving it 10🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Katherine Marsh is an award-winning author of books for children and young adults including NOWHERE BOY; THE DOOR BY THE STAIRCASE; JEPP, WHO DEFIED THE STARS; and THE NIGHT TOURIST books. 

Her latest book, NOWHERE BOY (Roaring Brook Press, August 2018), will also be published in fifteen languages in addition to English. The story is based on the three years Katherine spent living in Brussels, Belgium with her family, including her husband, two children, two cats and flock of chickens. A former journalist and managing editor of The New Republic, Katherine recently moved back to Washington, DC. 

Katherine has won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and her books have also been selected as Junior Library Book Guild selections, New York Times Notable, New York Public Library Best Books, Indie Next selections, Publishers Weekly Flying Start and various other state and critical lists.

Learn more at or

You can also follow her updates and musings at

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Thriftbooks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s