Title: Out of Nowhere
Author: Maria Padian
Release Date: Available
Immigration is one of the most heated topics right now in our country. In Out of Nowhere, Maria Padian recreates this debate of morals within an idyllic town in Maine that is receiving an incredible influx of immigrants from Somalia. They are fleeing from their war-torn homeland and are thrust into American culture with only a basic understanding of the language. Some people in the town are cold and hostile towards the newcomers and some community members are even expressing racism towards the predominantly Muslim population of immigrants.
Tom Bouchard, a senior in high school and the captain of the soccer team, experiences the effect of the immigration firsthand when a few Somalis join his soccer team. These new players are so exceptional that the team is experiencing a winning streak for the first time. Their star player is Saeed, whose skills advance the team to play against and beat their rival, Maquoit, but when his eligibility to play is questioned, the whole season is put on the line. Meanwhile, a brush with the law over vandalism lands Tom community service hours, which he spends tutoring Somali children, and where he meets Myla–a quirky, hip college girl who runs the tutoring center.
Maria Padian writes eloquently in this moving book about cultural acceptance among young people. Every teen should read this book because it shows that it is possible for a community to come together and become accepting to immigrants. Although they are unwelcoming towards the Somali immigrants in the beginning, Tom and his team slowly learn about Somali customs and traditions and their experiences as a team bring them all together as friends. I highly recommend this book for anyone of any age, especially if one is interested in contemporary issues based around racism and cultural acceptance.
Review by Danielle
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