Nowhere Boy

(Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s, August 2018)

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Thirteen-year-old Max never wanted to move from America to Brussels, Belgium and continue his life of failure, this time at a French-speaking school. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s worlds collide, changing everything they know about heroism, hope, and love. 

Available in translation in French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Greek, Portuguese (Brazil edition, Portugal edition), Korean, Polish, Czech, Mandarin, Farsi and Romanian.

U.S. Paperback out August 25, 2020! Buy a copy here. Are you an educator looking to purchase classroom copies? Info on discounts and placing orders here.

Bonus Material:


2022 California Young Reader Medal Nominee

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 captivating book situated in present-day discourse around the refugee crisis.” —Kirkus, Starred Review

Thoughtfully touching on immigration, Islamophobia, and terrorism, this novel is a first-purchase. –School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Marsh (The Night Tourist) 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

“A complicated and realistic story of European geopolitics past and present.” –BCCB, Starred Review


“A resistance novel for our time….’Nowhere Boy’ is elegantly structured, plausible in its improbable plot and studded with moments of rapturous prose. The book ends on a single word that sums up its entire message: ‘Hope.'” –Elizabeth Wein in the New York Times Book Review

“An important and riveting story, masterfully told. Move this one to the top of your TBR pile immediately.” –Barbara O’Connor, author of WISH and WONDERLAND

“Nowhere Boy has the authenticity of nonfiction, with all the heart and pulse of a great novel.  As a journalist, who has reported on the refugee crisis for years, I was deeply impressed by how real and gripping Marsh’s tale felt — from the very start — as a father and son clung to life raft in rough seas.  This should be required reading in middle schools across America.”  — Jake Halpern, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his series, “Welcome to the New World,” in the New York Times.

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

“Perfect for classroom reads, this timely novel with its strong male protagonists will foster discussions about friendship, Islam, and complex refugee predicaments throughout the world.”–VOYA