Neighborhood Girls

Booklist Best Book of 2017

YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2018 title

A heartbreakingly modern representation of a city at the heart of America. –Booklist, starred review

“This is a thoughtful, moving portrait of a complex girl on the verge of finding her moral compass, set against a strong backdrop of a dynamic working-class Chicago neighborhood.” –Horn Book

“[T]he young and old women in this book represent levels of strength, conviction, and faith that create an ethos of forgiveness and hope. . . This compelling portrait of real life, with all of its messes, mistakes, and compromises, will inspire girls to see their ordinary neighborhoods in a new light.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A riveting tale about a troubled teen finding her way through the wilds of high school life.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Vibrant and convincing” -School Library Journal



When Wendy Boychuck’s father, a Chicago cop, was escorted from their property in handcuffs for his shady criminal practices, she knew her life would never be the same. Her father gets a years-long jail sentence, her family falls on hard times, and the whispers around town are impossible to ignore. If that wasn’t bad enough, she gets jumped walking home from a party one night. Wendy quickly realizes that in order to survive her father’s reputation, she’ll have to make one for herself. Then Wendy meets Kenzie Quintana—a foul-mouthed, Catholic uniform-skirt-hiking alpha— and she knows immediately that she’s met her savior. Kenzie can provide Wendy with the kind of armor a girl needs when she’s trying to outrun her father’s past. Add two more mean girls to the mix—Sapphire and Emily—and Wendy has found herself in Academy of the Sacred Heart’s most feared and revered clique. Makeover complete.

But complete is far from what Wendy feels. Instead, she faces the highs and lows of a vapid, toxic friendship, the exhaustion that comes with keeping up appearances, and the only loss that could hurt more than losing herself.