Review: Nowhere Better Than Here by Sarah Guillory

Nowhere Better Than Here by Sarah Guillory

Nowhere Better Than Here
Sarah Guillory
Roaring Brook Press
Published September 20, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Nowhere Better Than Here

In a town slowly being destroyed by rising tides, one girl must fight to find a way to keep her community’s spirit from drowning.

For thirteen-year-old Jillian Robichaux, three things are sacred: bayou sunsets, her grandmother Nonnie’s stories, and the coastal Louisiana town of Boutin that she calls home.

When the worst flood in a century hits, Jillian and the rest of her community band together as they always do—but this time the damage may simply be too great. After the local school is padlocked and the bridges into town condemned, Jillian has no choice but to face the reality that she may be losing the only home she’s ever had.

But even when all hope seems lost, Jillian is determined to find a way to keep Boutin and its indomitable spirit alive. With the help of friends new and old, a loveable golden retriever, and Nonnie’s storytelling wisdom, Jillian does just that in this timely and heartfelt story of family, survival, and hope.

In her stunning debut middle grade novel, Sarah Guillory has written a lush story about an indomitable girl fighting against the effects of climate change.

Nowhere Better Than Here on Goodreads

My Review

What an incredible tribute to community, female relationships, and making a difference. Jillian lives with her mom and grandmother. All three are strong women who speak their minds, especially when they don’t agree. Jillian and two friends, her cousin Maddie and a friend at her new school named Mina, work together to collect oral stories and photographs as a way to raise awareness of what’s happening in her town.

What’s happening is that the town has flooded and its members are under a voluntary evacuation notice. Jillian learns that this isn’t a new problem. That in her parents’ and grandparents’ lifetime, parts of the town have been lost underwater.

I loved the writing in this book. It’s moving and beautiful and deeply anchored in its setting. My husband’s family is from Louisiana. I couldn’t help hearing some of his aunts in the voices of these characters, and thinking about the way they tell stories. I felt like NOWHERE BETTER THAN HERE perfectly captured that.

All in all, I think this is a great story of youth activism and the impact of climate change, but much more than that, it’s a wonderful story of relationships, community, and making a difference for the people and places you love.

Nowhere Better Than Here on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Jillian’s parents are divorced. She lives with her mom and grandmother. She and other residents of her town have become climate refugees.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content

Violent Content

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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