The Nowhere Girls

Amy Reed

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017

Plot Summary

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.


  • Kirkus (October 10, 2017): “Reed’s refusal to shy away from the entrenched realities of sexism as well as the oft-overlooked erasure of intersectionality within feminism yields a highly nuanced and self-reflective narrative that captures rape culture’s ubiquitous harm without swerving into didactic, one-size-fits-all solutions or relying on false notions of homogenous young womanhood. Scandal, justice, romance, sex positivity, subversive anti-sexism—just try to put it down.” Starred review.

  • School Library Journal (September 26, 2017): “This gritty and timely novel examines the culture of sexism and rape through the eyes of three girls and a chorus of the universal ‘Us.’ ... The strong characters do not detract from the equally strong plot but move it forward with compassion and strength as they address with frank honesty what it means to be female in today’s world. The empowerment of the girls in this book will resonate with young adults. VERDICT A must-read for every teen.” Starred review.

[Starred review in VOYA no longer available online.]


Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalist, 2018

Westchester Fiction Award, 2019


Amelia Bloomer Top Ten, 2018

Bank Street Center Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2018

New York Public Library Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2017

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books, 2017

Irish Times Best Books of the Year, 2017

Response to Challenges

PEN America Open Letter to Leander Independent School District (TX): “[A]llegations against the “appropriateness” of these books for students has to do with whose stories they tell. Across the nation, books featuring characters who are people of color or LGBTQIA+ individuals, or written by authors from such communities, are disproportionately likely to be challenged or banned Yet the inclusion of such books in students’ curricula is both morally

necessary and educationally beneficial. All young people deserve to see themselves reflected in the literature they consume, and the inclusion of books that center diverse experiences is the most efective way to accomplish this. Exposure to such books is vital to the project of empathy-building, of rectifying historic gaps in whose stories are shared and consumed, and of forging a more inclusive, equitable, and just society If the district moves forward with the

proposal to remove these stories, not only do we fear that you will be restricting students’ and families’ access to diverse stories, but that you will be sending the message that these stories have no place in the classroom, school library, or other educational settings.”



"2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner & Finalists Announced." Assembly on LIterature for Adolescents of NCTE. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

"The Best Children's Books of the Year [2018 edition." (2018, April 6). The Bank Street Center for Children's Literature. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

Browne, K. (2018, February 12). "2018 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten." RISE. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

"CPL Best of the Best Books 2017." (2017, November 26). Chicago Public Library. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

Doyle, M. (2017, December 2). "Ticket Awards 2017: The best books of the year." The Irish Times.

Retrieved July 11, 2022 from 3

Hilbun, J. (2017, September 26). "The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed." School Library Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

"New York Public Library Announces Its Best Books of 2017 for Kids and Teens." (2017, November 20).

New York Public Library. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

"The Nowhere Girls." (2017, October 10). Kirkus. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

"Open Letter: Authors Demand Texas School District Reinstate Their Books." (2021, April 21). PEN America. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from

"Westchester Fiction Award Past Winners." Westchester Fiction Award. Retrieved July 11, 2022 from


Updated 11 July 2022



Book Resume created by Virginia Library Association and PDSAL