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.
MARIA PADIAN is the author of Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best and Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress, which was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. A graduate of Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, she has also attended Oxford University and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Born in New York but raised in New Jersey, she now lives in Maine with her family and their Australian shepherd, and was inspired by the events in her community to write Out of Nowhere.
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