Parents' Guide to

Patron Saints of Nothing

By Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Heartrending tale explores grief, Philippines' war on drugs.

Patron Saints of Nothing Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

A really good young adult book.

I believe this is a really good young adult book. This raises awareness of other cultures and some can definitely relate to this book. Warning: there is some violence, death, and cursing in this book.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 16+

Bad words but good message

The book had a lot of violence and swearing in it, but it had good messages.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Randy Ribay has written a heartrending and powerful coming-of-age novel that explores grief, complex family relationships, and identity. He brilliantly highlights the Philippines' rich culture and history while also exposing some of the horrific issues happening in the country, such as the violent drug war, poverty, and sex trafficking. Although the main reason Jay journeys to the Philippines is to find out how Jun died, he also learns a lot about himself and reconnects with his Filipino heritage. There are many instances where Jay is called out for being too American to truly understand what's happening in the Philippines, but part of Jay's growth and character development involves his learning how to seek out the truth and speak out when injustice is occurring.

Jay's family members grieve differently, some choosing not to show any emotion or acknowledge Jun's death, but a shocking plot twist leads to a poignant moment for the characters to mourn together. As Jay spends more time in the Philippines and details of Jun's life and death are slowly revealed, readers will see the Patron Saints of Nothing is a story of courage, curiosity, communication, and compassion.

Book Details

  • Author: Randy Ribay
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Topics: Activism , History
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Kokila
  • Publication date: June 18, 2019
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: August 6, 2022

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