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Out of Nowhere [Kindle Edition]

Maria Padian
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.78
You Save: $7.21 (42%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

Winner of the Maine Literary Award

Called “rich and multidimensional” by School Library Journal in a starred review, Out of Nowhere follows Tom Bouchard: captain and star of the Enniston High School 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 seeking a better life after their country is destroyed by war. 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 take responsibility for his actions. The refugees 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Tom Bouchard's small Maine hometown has become a key secondary migration location for Somali immigrants, and the local high school is overwhelmed with helping these students adjust to their new surroundings. As captain of the soccer team, Tom follows his instincts and recruits a Somali player, cashing in on Saeed's talents and unique playing style. In the wake of a racially charged incident on their home turf, the team goes on to beat their crosstown rival, sparking racist reactions both from the opposition and local authorities. To classify Out of Nowhere as a sports story sells it short. Soccer is certainly an element, with a fair amount of play-by-play action (and standard locker-room language), but the novel is rich and multidimensional, addressing the Muslim experience in America, addiction, and romance. Tom is an authentic narrator who deals out life-changing empathy.-Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

“Grades, sports, and girls have always come easy to me,” muses Tom Bouchard, captain of his high-school soccer team. What happens when, out of nowhere, a phenomenally talented soccer player named Saeed joins the team? Quite a lot, actually. Saeed is part of a new community of Somali immigrants who have arrived in Tom’s small Maine hometown and created quite a stir. Not everyone welcomes them, and though Tom and Saeed become friends, there are those who would like to see Saeed removed from the team. Meanwhile, Tom has fallen for a slightly older girl who is a volunteer at the neighborhood center where he is performing community service. The two befriend Saeed’s sister, and when Tom performs an ill-conceived gesture of sympathy, the futures of both Saeed and his sister are put in jeopardy. Padian has written a sensitive, sympathetic, and insightful portrayal of the plight of new immigrants attempting to acculturate while being forced to deal with casual bigotry. A timely and thought-provoking examination of a continuing dynamic in American communities. Grades 9-12, --Michael Cart

Product Details

  • File Size: 1446 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00ERQPR9M
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008ZPG88K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,941 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Look at Some very Weighty Issues March 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Tom Bouchard is the epitome of the All-American youth. He is third in his class while captaining the soccer team; he is white, Catholic, of Franco-Canadian ancestry; and he lives in small-town Maine, as he points out, the whitest and (almost) coldest state in the union. When a group of Somali Muslim refugees arrive in his town, it splits the populace between those who support their arrival and those who feel they are all potential terrorists who should all go back to Africa.

Tom doesn't care one way or the other - he just wants to play soccer. However, when several Somali youths join the team, he soon finds himself first admiring their mad soccer skills and then becoming friends with them. When he and a friend get caught attempting a silly practical joke against an opposing school, he has to perform community service at a drop-in centre for young Somalis, Tom realizes he isn't immune from the fight. When he makes mistakes towards his new friends because he can't understand the cultural differences, he feels ashamed especially as it has caused real problems for a young Somali girl and her family.

But then a white supremacist group announces its intention to come to the 'aid' of the white population in this small town and fence-sitting is no longer an option, not only for Tom but for the entire town. Everyone has to pick a side and the differences could splinter this tight-knit little town irrevocably.

Out of Nowhere takes on many of the issues facing young people today - immigration, racism, cyberbullying, religious differences and tolerance - and it does it with a great deal of empathy and sensitivity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLY TOUCHING! February 20, 2013
Any book that has sports in it is not my type of read. But a tagline comparing a book to the movie The Blind Side – which, in my opinion, was an absolutely brilliant movie – definitely gets my attention. I’m glad I gave Out of Nowhere a chance. It took me most of the weekend to finish reading it, even had me up in the middle of the night reading a couple more chapters, but it was worth every second. This book is definitely going on my Best Books of 2013 list!

There is more sport in this book than I would’ve liked to read, but I’ll admit it was written so well it felt as though I was in the centre of all the action. The author managed to capture the atmosphere in the crowd and the anxiety and excitement of the soccer players perfectly; I couldn’t help cheering loudly for each game they won and feeling utterly sad about the ones they lost. I felt every emotion the players felt. That said, this book is not entirely focused on the sport alone. It is a heart-warming tale encompassing the struggles and challenges of the everyday lives of a handful of individual characters learning, through trial and error, to accept those who are different; and the main character, Tom, learning some valuable life lessons in the process. It deals with – among other - diversity, adversity, faith, and acceptance of the unknown.

This story, thank goodness, isn’t an exact reproduction of the movie The Blind Side, but it does hold a few similarities to it in showing how differently people deal with, and attempt to cross (or not), cultural boundaries. The author efficiently and sensitively portrays both perspectives by showing the pros and cons of accepting refugees from a war zone, into a small town already under the strain of an influx of foreigners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Rating: 3.5

The Low Down: Small towns, small minds; isn't that how the saying goes? Enniston, Maine's population has made a complete 180 from being in "the coldest, whitest state in America" to one that is playing host to a large influx of Somali Muslims escaping personal and political strife in Africa. Tom Bouchard feels badly for the kids that are dumped in his high school, speaking no English and having to navigate the hallways, classrooms, simmering acrimony and a town that would prefer they disappear altogether.

Saeed shows up to class one day wearing a Manchester United football jersey, and Tom finds out that Saeed has played soccer all his life. Inviting him to come and check out the soccer team, soon there are new Somali players on the team. Fortunately, most of the players are thinking more about beating their arch-rival, Maquoit High School, than the change in make-up of their team. Saeed and the other Somalis take the Chamberlain High School team to unheard of new heights. Dizzying, post-season heights.

But something is bubbling beneath the surface in just about everyone in town. For Tom, it's his hatred for Marquoit and their rich-kid ways; for the mayor of Enniston, it's the changing makeup of the town's population. Both act on their impulses, with Tom having to do community service and the mayor having to now defend her town and townspeople from the threat of "help" by a group of white supremacists. Then another impromptu action causes pain in the very family that Tom wants to help. Can someone ever truly understand the "why" of other cultures?

Best Thang `Bout It: The subject matter is superb and is presented in a sensitive way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong, enjoyable, relevant themes.
This well-constructed coming of age story for teens addresses some controversial diversity issues in a fictional (but based on a real situation) city in Maine which is the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. W. C. kasten
4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Nowhere
For the past month I have had a love hate relationship with this book. Overall, I loved it. The moral to the story, that every one has a story worth listening to, is something that... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Claire B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Padian scores big in this complex and heartfelt novel
Like the skillful soccer players in her book, Maria Padian takes us through the richly complex situation of a small town trying to grapple with an influx of Somali refugees. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Linda Ade Brand
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put it Down
The author successfully deals with a variety of issues - adolescence, class, race, religion, national and cultural origins - in a way that makes the book very difficult to put... Read more
Published 14 months ago by martha b eyman
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply . . . READ THIS BOOK
Don't waste a second reading this review--instead, go get OUT OF NOWHERE, find it ANYWHERE, and read it NOW! It is THAT powerful a book, that amazing, that important. Read more
Published 14 months ago by L. Plourde
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written and moving story
Wow. This book takes a fairly common character/plot combination (high school senior who seems to have everything, yet has zero motivation for college/life after high... Read more
Published 15 months ago by rebecca moe
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the melting pot...into Maine
A good window into this clash of religions and cultures. This novel brings a personal face to the issues encountered when Islam is introduced into a mostly Roman Catholic Maine... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ray S. Youmans
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers some difficult issues
(Source: review request by publisher - Random House Children's Books via Netgalley. Thanks to Random House Children's Books, and Netgalley. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars a moving story that teaches toleration
I read Out of Nowhere in 24 hours; it was that hard to put down. The story was richly textured and beautifully rendered. Here is real Maine, not "vacationland. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sarah Laurence
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab this riveting novel - it is fiction based on fact
Out of Nowhere is a fascinating read sifting through the layers of how easy and how difficult relating to those of other cultures can be. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bill Baker
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More About the Author

Maria Padian is an author of young adult novels as well as a freelance writer, essayist and former broadcast journalist. Her first novel, "Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress" (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2008) was chosen by the ALA and YALSA as one of the Best Books for Young Adults in 2009 and also received a Maine Literary Award and Maine Lupine Honor Award. Her second novel, "Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best," was published by Knopf in March, 2011. A third novel for young adults, "Out of Nowhere," will be published by Knopf in February 2013.

A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, she has also attended Oxford University and the Bread Loaf Writers' conference. Along with being a passionate, life-long reader, she is an avid gardener, tennis player, nordic skier and coffee drinker. She makes her home in Maine with her family and their Australian Shepherd.

To learn more about Maria and her books visit

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