Feb 13, 2013

Book Review: Out of Nowhere

 High school senior Tom Bouchard doesn't care about his options, until he meets people who have almost none.

At Maquoit High School, Tom Bouchard has it made: captain and star of the soccer team, boyfriend to one of the prettiest, most popular girls, and third in his class, likely to have his pick of any college, if he ever bothers filling out his applications. But life in his idyllic small Maine town quickly gets turned upside down after the events of 9/11.

Enniston has become a “secondary migration” location for Somali refugees, who are seeking a better life after their country was destroyed by war—they can no longer go home. Tom hasn’t thought much about his Somali classmates until four of them join the soccer team, including Saeed. He comes out of nowhere on the field to make impossible shots, and suddenly the team is winning, dominating even; but when Saeed’s eligibility is questioned and Tom screws up in a big way, he’s left to grapple with a culture he doesn’t understand and trying to take responsibility for his actions. Saeed and his family came out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly. And Tom may find himself going nowhere, too, if he doesn’t start trying to get somewhere.

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I really wasn't really quite sure what to expect when I started OUT OF NOWHERE but what I got was a thought provoking story that kept me up until after two in the morning.  I learned a bit about the Somali culture and some about the Muslim religion.  I saw how our school systems become overwhelmed when several family of refugees move into an area.  I watched  the protagonist  Tom grow up and learn about taking responsibility for his actions and how those actions can effect others.  

 It struck home how so many things that we take for granted are not available everywhere.  Something as simple as having a birth certification or even knowing the day that you are born is not as common as one would think.  These refugees come from a world that I have problems imagining yet they come here full of hope that things might be better for them. 

I have read in the news about issues surrounding refugees from various countries but it wasn't until I read OUT OF NOWHERE that it really struck home with me.  Yes this is a Young Adult novel but I recommend to people of all ages.  It can really be an eye opening.  I rate this book a 4.6.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
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