Patron Saints of Nothing

By: Randy Ribay

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth—and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.



Author’s note. Recommended reading.

ISBN: 9780525554912

JLG Release: Oct 2019


Other Formats Available from JLG


Sensitive Areas: Drugs, Marijuana, Mild sexual themes, Racism, Strong language, Underage drinking, Human trafficking, Homophobia
Topics: Murder , Cousins , Family life , Drug traffic , Philippines , Coming of age

$18.25  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

2019 National Book Awards Finalist

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)*

School Library Journal

Integrating snippets of Tagalog and Bikol, author Ribay displays a deep friendship between two 17-year-old cousins: Jay, born in the Philippines but raised in the United States since infancy, and Jun, born and raised in a gated community in Manila. Jay, considered white in an all-white school, is starting to get acceptances (and rejections) from co Integrating snippets of Tagalog and Bikol, author Ribay displays a deep friendship between two 17-year-old cousins: Jay, born in the Philippines but raised in the United States since infancy, and Jun, born and raised in a gated community in Manila. Jay, considered white in an all-white school, is starting to get acceptances (and rejections) from colleges and finds out while playing video games that Jun, with whom he corresponded for years via “actual letters—not email or texts or DMs,” is dead. His Filipino father doesn’t want to talk about it, but his North American mother reveals that Jun was using drugs. Jay blames his uncle, a police chief, for his murder after researching the dictatorship of Rodrigo Duterte (the book includes a handy author’s note and a list of articles and websites), who has sanctioned and perpetrated the killing of between 12,000 and 20,000 drug addicts by police and vigilantes since 2016. Jay, armed with his stack of letters, returns to Manila to search for the truth. Ribay weaves in Jun’s letters so readers witness Jun’s questions and his attempts to reconcile the inequity around him with his faith. Jay follows Jun’s footsteps into the slums of Manila, the small house of his activist aunts, and the Catholic parish of his uncle, a village priest, and learns painful truths about his family, his home country, and himself. Part mystery, part elegy, part coming of age, this novel is a perfect convergence of authentic voice and an emphasis on inner dialogue around equity, purpose, and reclaiming one’s lost cultural identity.

Horn Book

Filipino American teen Jay Reguero is approaching the end of high school in Michigan when he learns of his cousin Jun’s untimely death in the Philippines. Jay and Jun had, as pen pals, been close throughout their tween years. Haunted by the lack of information regarding his cousin’s death (and by his own failure to respond to Jun’s last lette Filipino American teen Jay Reguero is approaching the end of high school in Michigan when he learns of his cousin Jun’s untimely death in the Philippines. Jay and Jun had, as pen pals, been close throughout their tween years. Haunted by the lack of information regarding his cousin’s death (and by his own failure to respond to Jun’s last letter), Jay decides to go to the Philippines to investigate. He receives an anonymous tip via social media suggesting the death was a murder by the police and makes a connection between his cousin’s fate and President Rodrigo Duterte’s (real-life) draconian war on drugs. Through myriad twists and turns, Jay uncovers the heartbreaking truth. He also, rewardingly, begins to assimilate into Filipino culture and find his next steps in life. “My family, myself, this world—all of us are flawed. But flawed doesn’t mean hopeless…It doesn’t mean lost.” Ribay brings this coming-of-age story to vivid life through themes of addiction, complex family dynamics, and the experiences of children of immigrant families. Back matter includes an author’s note giving more information about Duterte’s war on drugs and a brief bibliography.

Book Details

ISBN

9780525554912

First Release

October 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

352

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 840L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Kokila

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Drugs, Marijuana, Mild sexual themes, Racism, Strong language, Underage drinking, Human trafficking, Homophobia

Topics

Murder, Cousins, Family life, Drug traffic, Philippines, Coming of age,

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