Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Radius of Us

The Radius of Us

A Novel

Marie Marquardt

St. Martin's Griffin

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What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear?

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just daily routine, but who you are as a person. Gretchen Asher knows this, because that’s how long a stranger held her body to the ground. When a car sped toward them and Gretchen’s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes. And now she doesn’t even recognize herself.

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just the place you live, but the person others think you are. Phoenix Flores Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S. / Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention. But Phoenix didn’t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta. He became that person — the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.

Ninety seconds can change a life — so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt's The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.

EXCERPT


CHAPTER ONE


GRETCHEN


 


I WAS SITTING ON a bench in the Place Without a Soul when it happened, another one of my episodes. The ones that shove me so deep inside of my crazy...

Reviews

Praise for The Radius of Us

"...this is a compelling story that delivers profound messages through engaging, accessible prose. Both a page-turning romance and a comprehensive view of a young immigrant's experience, this novel is sure to encourage empathy and perspective... VERDICT A must-have for all YA collections." -School Library Journal (Starred Review)

"[An] eye-opening story." -Kirkus Review

"For anyone who feels trapped or constrained by borders or barriers, Marie Marquardt's The Radius of Us is a bold, brilliant, and decidedly timely novel that reminds us that love can still transcend it all." -Brendan Kiely, New York Times Bestselling author of All American Boys and The Last True Love Story

"The Radius of Us takes the worlds-colliding poignancy and rich characterization of Eleanor & Park and tackles the human workings of immigration. A powerful, empathetic, achingly beautiful and real story of yearning for a better life and the love that comes with it." -Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King

"Marie Marquardt's The Radius of Us is a straightforward love-story with underpinnings that are anything but. This beautiful novel doesn't sugar-coat the real horrors that the world can so carelessly and randomly inflict, and at the same time never wavers in the assurance that love is bigger than hate, that compassionate connection is not just possible, but essential, and that while we may be marked by the past--the past does not define us. We save each other, person by person, and slowly the world begins to brighten. A novel that shines in every sense of the word." -Alison Umminger, author of American Girls

"Dream Things True is a satisfying and rich debut novel about love and the importance of following dreams." -Américas Award Committee on Dream Things True

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Marie Marquardt

MARIE MARQUARDT is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and author of Dream Things True. She has published articles and co-authored two non-fiction books about Latin American immigration to the U.S. South. Marie is co-chair of El Refugio, a non-profit that serves detained immigrants and their families, and a member of the We Need Diverse Books team. She lives in a busy household in Decatur, Georgia with her spouse, four children, a dog and a bearded dragon.

Marie Marquardt

Kenzi Tainow

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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