Patron Saints of Nothing

Finalist, National Book Awards 2019 for Young People's Literature

ISBN 9780525554912
Penguin Random House |
Randy Ribay

Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines and raised in the Midwest. He is the author of After the Shot Drops and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes. He earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master’s Degree in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. More about this author >

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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.


Judges Citation

The mysterious death of a cousin beckons us to the hot, humid streets and countryside of the Philippines, where the country is politically divided by President Duterte's controversial war on drugs. In Patron Saints of Nothing, Randy Ribay’s intense, poignant story explores questions of identity, homeland, family, and the complexity of truth. Ribay splits your heart in shock and grief, but he also heals it, and we are enriched for having traveled with him on the journey.