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.
About the Author
Marie Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the author of Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. She is widely published in the areas of religion, inter-ethnic relations, and civic participation of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. South. Marquardt has also worked extensively as an advocate among immigrants in Atlanta. She is a founding organizer and currently serves as co-chair of El Refugio, a hospitality house outside the gates of the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. Marie is also a member of the We Need Diverse Books team. Marquardt lives with her husband and four children in a very busy household in Decatur, Georgia. Dream Things True is her first young adult novel.
"...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