What Girls Are Made Of

Finalist, National Book Awards 2017 for Young People's Literature

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold book cover
ISBN 9781512410242
Carolrhoda Lab / Lerner Publishing Group
Elana K Arnold author photo, credit Martha Brockenbrough
Elana K. Arnold

Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. Her books have been included on the LA Public Library’s Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Book list, the YALSA “Best Fiction for Young Adults” list, have been ALAN picks, and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project. Her most recent YA novel, Infandous, was a Westchester Fiction Award Winner and won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

When Nina Faye was fourteen, her mother told her there was no such thing as unconditional love. Nina believed her. Now she’ll do anything for the boy she loves, to prove she’s worthy of him. But when he breaks up with her, Nina is lost. What is she if not a girlfriend? What is she made of? Broken-hearted, Nina tries to figure out what the conditions of love are.

Judges Citation

Elana K. Arnold’s What Girls Are Made Of examines what it means to be a girl, a woman, a physical object—to own oneself and to be owned by others. This challenging work invites readers to look within themselves and explore their own identities and imperfections. A strong backbone of feminist mythology gives the novel an extra layer of depth and pain. The result is both devastating and healing, and altogether unforgettable.