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After a disastrous journey through Mexico that separated him from his younger brother and landed him in detention, Salvadorian teen Phoenix Flores finally gets a lucky break. A kind stranger bails him out and takes him in. That’s how Phoenix finds himself living in a rich Atlanta suburb with a LoJack around his ankle, managing a community garden project, and trying hard to keep a low profile – until Gretchen shows up. First, the crazy white girl runs from him, but then she sets out to find him – probably just to prove to herself that she’s not afraid anymore.

Fear is something the two have in common, since they’ve both suffered as victims of gang violence. As the story unfolds and Phoenix struggles to support his little brother from a distance, Gretchen and Phoenix begin to face their fears together – hoping that, eventually, they’ll give each other the courage to do the scariest thing of all: imagine a future together as survivors.

Praise for The Radius of Us

“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 & Parkand 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 and Goodbye Days



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Evan and Alma have spent fifteen years living in the same town, connected in a dozen different ways but also living worlds apart—until the day he jumps into her dad’s truck and slams on the brakes. The nephew of a senator, Evan seems to have it all—except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two, surrounded by a large – and sometimes smothering – Mexican family. They both want out of this town. His one-way ticket is soccer; hers is academic success. When they fall in love, they fall hard, trying to ignore their differences. Then Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids in their town, and Alma knows that she needs to share her secret. But how will she tell her country-club boyfriend that she and almost everyone she’s close to are undocumented immigrants? What follows is a page-turning debut that asks tough questions, reminding us that love is more powerful than fear.

Praise for Dream Things True

“Marquardt knowledgably takes on the plight of undocumented families . . . readers seeking a star-crossed love story with a twist won’t be disappointed”

Publishers Weekly

“Marquardt has a lot to teach . . . but never does it feel didactic. Instead, Marquardt envelops you into the story of this one family and this one young couple trying to beat the odds.”


“Worthy examination of undocumented immigration in the American South through the lens of young love.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Marquardt provides a critical view of the stigmas and difficulties plaguing undocumented youth in U.S. schools without glossing over the legal realities of deportation and detainment. Readers will find the romantic aspects of Alma and Evan’s relationship sweet and exciting.”

School Library Journal

“Marquardt has written a book with a hopeful, if not happy, ending, filled with stark details about life in the U.S. for undocumented families. Eye-opening and touching.”


Dream Things True is a satisfying and rich debut novel about love and the importance of following dreams.”

—Américas Award Committee

“A true Romeo and Juliet romance with a wider moral sweep-tender, heart-wrenching and wise. Every character shines.”

―Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of What I Thought Was True

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt is a story that must be told and needs to be read. With sensitivity and care, Marquardt deftly illustrates the struggles and hopes of Alma, an undocumented teenager living in the United States. Alma’s story reflects the lives of millions of young people trapped between countries and cultures, longing for a place to belong. An important story that’s full of heart, it will forever change the way you view those who live their lives in the shadows.”

―Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth about Alice

“A compelling read with complex, true-to-life characters, Dream Things True is a unique novel. Not only will it cause readers to empathize with characters in difficult situations, it will get them to consider the plight of people in the real world. Add in a love story you can root for.”

―Adi Alsaid, author of Let’s Get Lost

“Marquardt’s Dreams Things True vividly weaves to life the thrill of falling in love in the South while awakening readers to the struggles of US-Mexican immigration policies. In this touching coming-of-age story, full of hope and possibilities, Marquardt captures the bittersweet world of undocumented teens living in the US and the power of true love.”

―Malin Alegria, author of Border Town series