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, Chinese, Polish, Czech, Mandarin and Farsi.

Bonus Material:


A 2019 Bank Street Best Children’s Book

A 2019 American Library Association Notable

A 2018 New York Times Notable

A 2018 Washington Post Best Children’s Book

A 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.

NPR’s Morning Edition interviews Katherine Marsh about NOWHERE BOY.

Washington Post Kids Post on the story behind NOWHERE BOY.


“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