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 is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of many books for and about children and teens. Her novel Damsel was a Michael L. Printz Honor book and her novel What Girls Are Made Of was a Finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the California Book Award. More about this author >

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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.