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Girls Like Her (Hardcover)

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A raw, gripping, authentic, and boldly original novel about a fifteen-year-old Texas girl set to stand trial for murder—and the one person who might be able to help her clear her name.

A wealthy businessman is dead, and fifteen-year-old Ruby Monroe is in a Dallas jail awaiting trial for his murder. Ruby has no one she can count on—no one, except her state-appointed caseworker, a woman named Cadence Ware. In Ruby’s experience, that’s not anyone she can trust.

Cadence is familiar with the cold reality of Ruby’s situation, even before Ruby was arrested. Angry and alone, homeless and hungry, breaking the law just to survive, she is the kind of girl no one wants to listen to, especially not the prosecutor who wants to put her away for life. 

But no one knows the story—the real story—of what happened the day Ruby met the man who would end up dead. As the layers of truth are peeled away and time is running out, Ruby and Cadence will both have desperate choices to make—choices that could mean the difference between Ruby spending her life in prison or her name being cleared.

Told through a collection of letters, meeting notes, news articles, court transcripts, and more, Girls Like Her is a riveting and unflinching tale of the truths so often lost in the American justice system, and one girl’s fight to be heard.

About the Author

Melanie Sumrow is the author of the novels The Inside Battle, a 2020 New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, and The Prophet Calls, a 2018 Writers' League of Texas Book Award finalist. Before turning her attention to writing, she worked as a lawyer for more than sixteen years, many of her cases involving children and teens. She received her MFA from Hamline University's writing for children and young adults program and lives in Dallas. You can visit her online at

Praise For…

"Keeps you guessing until the very last page. Sumrow's brilliantly-conceived novel is a harrowing journey into child sex trafficking and the United States legal system—and a complicated character study in which how someone is perceived is just as consequential as who they are. Masterful." — Eliot Schrefer, Printz and Stonewall Honor-winning author of The Darkness Outside Us

"Girls Like Her is a compelling study of the impossible choices faced by millions of young girls today. In this heartbreaking and hopeful story, Melanie Sumrow reminds us to look and listen to those who need it most." — Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of The Blackwoods

"Sumrow crafts suspense through a compelling, patchwork narrative that combines fictional press releases, letters, notes, legal memos, and close third-person prose. Skilled pacing transforms a typical ripped-from-the-headlines premise into a nail-biting investigation of financial precarity and child sex trafficking." — Publishers Weekly

"Reads like true crime. An eye-opening depiction of the criminal justice system’s treatment of young, vulnerable citizens." — Kirkus Reviews

"Sumrow add[s] sobering authenticity to this gripping legal drama. A nonlinear timeline and fictionalized materials that foretell a plot twist add interest and suspense to Ruby’s story of falling through the cracks and, unlike so many others, eventually being found." — Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063343283
ISBN-10: 0063343282
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English