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Out of Nowhere

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  511 ratings  ·  162 reviews
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 applicatio
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,495)
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Lynn Plourde
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. Even though it is a YA (young adult) novel, I wish every high school student and their parents and their grandparents would read this book and talk about it. Maria Padian has done a brilliant job of telling a 21st century American immigrant story--it's real, it's relevant, it's believable. She made me care and she made me think in ...more
Suzanne
I’m not a guy, so maybe I’m not the best judge of whether female authors get the male voice and point of view down right—or reasonably so—but Maria Padian does at least a respectable job with the first person narration of Tom Bouchard, Maine grandchild of Quebecois immigrants brought in to work textile factories. I know real live teen boys at my school and I even live with one! Ew, yuck, not like THAT—he’s my son. Anyway, Tom sounds like many a scholar-athlete I have known, excelling in school a ...more
Claudia Burgoa
Amazing and surprising read, I’m glad I read it and didn’t stirred off because it included soccer –a sport I’m not fond of. Though the entire book talked about the sport, it wasn’t the story all about High school sports. The writer takes us through one of the most complicated stages of everybody’s lives –high school –terrifying place to be for four years.
Though scary, it’s where we learn to be adults. Here, Tom –our main character- learns to accept others no matter their religion, origin and ot
...more
Klee
I confess to being almost equally ignorant on the subjects of both soccer and Somali Muslim culture, at least before reading Out of Nowhere. It contains so many components of a good high school read: social strata, changing friendships, class issues, college angst, and good old hormones. It could have stood alone on several story lines and been a good book. But it is a great book with the introduction of the recent Somali refugees. Entirely believable characters give insight into life before and ...more
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: OUT OF NOWHERE by Maria Padian, Knopf, February 2013, 352p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86580-0

"I like the shores of America!
Comfort is yours in America!
Knobs on the doors in America,
Wall-to-wall floors in America!
-- L. Bernstein, S. Sondheim, (1956)

"You've got to wonder who the genius was that came up with the plan to put a bunch of Africans in Maine, the coldest, whitest state in America.
"Okay, maybe Alaska is colder. But not whiter. And it's true that the Somalis who began showing up in
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Meg
How great was this book? Extra-time-on-the-treadmill-great. I just could not stop reading. Protagonist Tom Bouchard is a star soccer player in his small Maine town. An influx of Somali refugees begins to heavily impact the town - from the classroom to the soccer field. As Tom get to know his Somali team mates he learns as much about himself as he does this new culture. Gorgeous descriptions, realistic dialogue and an engaging plot come together in this high-school pick.

This review is based on an
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Amanda Says
'Okay, my family live in Somalia, right? And in Somalia there is big, big wars and fighting. Like, everyone is gets killed, and the peoples, they just…run. You just run, you know?'
No, I didn’t say. I don’t know. I have absolutely no idea.

Every once in a while I come across a story that reminds me why I fell in love with young adult contemporary. In the world of ya books there are too many that doesn't dare tackle hard issues and at the same time portray the characters as the age they actually
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Keira Francis
Tom Bouchard has the perfect life. Captain on his high school soccer team, popular, hot girlfriend, and smart. He has his pick at almost any college he wants to go to, if he finishes his applications, and his life is going very well right now. He says he has a lot of luck. But when luck turns on him for the worst of things, what will happen? Somali kids who have fled their country for safety, kids that don't understand the typical teenager in the United States, start showing up at Tom's high sch ...more
Nina O'Daniels
There are so many positive sides to this story, it is hard to focus on just one. As a high school librarian, I am so excited about this book because it is a sports book with some meat to it. We have so many students who just want a book about sports and we gladly give them out, but now I can feel a little better knowing that they will be learning a little along the way with this read.

Tom lives in a smallish community in Main and he loves soccer. Loves to play it and is respectful of the greats i
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Shannon Grieshaber
Out of Nowhere is a sports book with substance and I can't wait to give it to a teen boy who comes to me looking for a book to read about soccer. Because what he will read is not only a book about a soccer team who works really hard to beat its rival (the rich kids' school, of course), but he'll also be reading a book about Somali refugees, religion and beliefs, leadership, and doing the right thing.

Out of Nowhere is the story of a small town in Maine that becomes inundated with Somali refugees
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Alex Baugh
I had no expectations when I picked up Out of Nowhere and started reading it other than the casual recommendation of a friend. Well, her recommendation wasn't so casual, she really really liked it and didn't want to influence my opinion. Turns out, I really really liked it as well.

Tom Bouchard is a senior at Chamberlain high school in Enniston, Maine and the kind of character that is usually not the most interesting. He is good-looking, a great soccer player, and a top student with very supporti
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Dianne
OUT OF NOWHERE is an enlightening story about life for Muslims Post 9/11. (Although it represents a much larger issue.) It tells of small-minded hatred sadly reaching down to a child's level, highlighting issues regarding parenting and the poisoning of young minds and hearts . It also deals with the issues surrounding a school/community that is overwhelmed with a need for special services for those who migrate to this country. Another culture cannot be 'saved' by America by just being dumped whe ...more
Nira
18 year old Tom Bouchard's life is changed by Somali immigrants who come from their own war infested country to life in Tom's town. A few of them attend Tom's high school, Chamberlain, and help him and his soccer team get to the next level. Tom then gets in trouble with the law and finds himself working at the community center. he then finds himself falling for a fellow volunteer, a down to earth college girl. Tom juggles a new girl, new friends, old enemies, and the loyalty of his friends all a ...more
Vivian
In Maine lives high school senior Tom Bouchard who has it all until Somali refugees come and turn his life upside down. This book is a story about loyalty and the strong friendships you can make with people so different from you. Out Of Nowhere is a book that will keep you turning the page.

There are many characters in this book that are believable and easy to visualize, all helping Tom find his way along. Tom is quite clueless in the beginning, doing all the wrong things whether he's hugging a g
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Natalie Couch
The writing was really solid, the characters well-rounded, and the subject matter was both relatable and extremely informative. I believe this is a book about war and refugees that young adults can really understand and that will resonate with them. There are lots of fantastic YA novels that touch on similar subjects from the POV of war survivors as they experience the hardships, but I often don't see those books connect with American readers as they are far removed from a US teen's world. This ...more
Mrs. McGuire
How great was this book? Extra-time-on-the-treadmill-great. I just could not stop reading. Protagonist Tom Bouchard is a star soccer player in his small Maine town. An influx of Somali refugees begins to heavily impact the town - from the classroom to the soccer field. As Tom get to know his Somali team mates he learns as much about himself as he does this new culture. Gorgeous descriptions, realistic dialogue and an engaging plot come together in this high-school pick.
This review is based on an
...more
luce-eleanor
The writing was flawless, natural, and just lovely to read. There is no heart-stopping action, yet the book is the farthest thing from boring: a true testimony to great writing. Maria Padian left no perspective out whether it be connected to our still-racial society or to the Muslim faith. There were the white supremacists and the extreme liberals, and there were the strictly religious Somalis and others who were more relaxed. She winds these sometimes difficult subjects beautifully around an av ...more
Bethany
Out Of Nowhere was breathtaking!

Okay, so when I read the first page, I thought oh great, it's a soccer book; I don't think I'll enjoy this. But as I read along, I realized, it's not just about soccer, there is SO. MUCH. MORE.

I fell in love with ALL of the characters (except for the jerks... they were jerks). Each character really spoke out to me in some way, and everyone is so easy to love. Tom sort of seems like a self-centered kind of guy in the beginning, but he proves you wrong as you get d
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David Caballero
Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian immerses the reader into the perspective of the 18 year old soccer player Tom Bouchard from Maine. Many people from the small town of Maine observe the increase amount of Somali refugees coming to Maine, which in turn changes how this small town of Maine functions. This flood of refugees progressively impacts Tom on the amount of respect he has for the immigrants from Somali. Throughout this rollercoaster of a ride, Tom is trying to do stand up for the Somali immig ...more
Stacey Conrad
This was a slow starter for me. I felt it was going to be a “message” book masquerading as a sports book, and I was right, unfortunately. There was a good message in place: accepting other people and trying to understand other cultures. But Ms. Padian also threw in skin-heads, rich vs. poor, drug and alcohol abuse, cyberbullying, and political activism. All of these things can be used to make a point, but it seemed like overkill to me. Not to mention that the romantic interest was a college soph ...more
Michelle Rainaud
What an incredible, insightful book about Somalians in Maine and the struggles everyone goes through trying to adapt. War refugees come with so many horrific nightmares and challenges. The author did an exceptional job and you really feel like it's a High school boy sharing.(there is some language and mild, inappropriate behavior and therefore better at the High School level) His experiences are real and his response to many of the situations he faces are practical. I thoroughly appreciate how t ...more
Lyndsey Rushby
Maria Padian is an author I had never heard of before requesting this book from NetGalley. I only did so because the synopsis made the book sound so different from anything I had ever read before and I was in the mood for different at the time.

Set in Enniston, Maine, Tom Bouchard is one of the most popular guys in school… unlike the Somali refugees who don’t even get a second look most days. Some of the Somali students barely know any English which makes getting to class hard enough, let alone
...more
Jamie
A pleasant boy/sports book becomes much more. As their Maine town becomes overrun with Somali immigrants, students must learn to work together and play together. And an innocent gesture becomes so much more. A good story about multiple perspectives.
Andria
This was a really interesting book that seemed to also come out of nowhere for me. I.e. it's realistic fiction that at first seems to just be about sports but then becomes a much bigger story about culture, religion, war, displacement, bullying, taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. Granted, none of those topics are particularly sexy, but I thought this was a really well done story that speaks volumes about how to deal with change and find the good in people, even if you don't rea ...more
Claire
The general notes about the book cover the plot- Star soccer golden boy Tom Bouchard's life tips a bit when he is caught in a completely uncharacteristic act of vandalism, the consequences of that including volunteering at a Somali refugee after school center.
Themes are complacency, sublimated anger and its toll, friendship, the culture clash of casual American society and strict Muslim mores, and outside agitation coming to small towns to play out non local issues.
Tom's growth as a person thr
...more
Shambhawi P.
Wow. If they ever turn this book into a movie I'd watch it along with the entire horde of my football soccer loving friends.

Review to come.
Jasmin
I could not put that book down at alll it took me almost a day and half to read it and i would recommend
Shanta
Wow! Living in Maine and knowing the truth behind this fiction, I am really impressed at how well this book was written, given how over the top it could have gone. The racism and bullying are never outrageous and the plot is more about Tom gaining an understanding and openness for the Somalis and their culture, differences and similarities. Often Mainers language is over written and exaggerated but the author used a light and, I felt, authentic touch to Maine slang and experiences. I also loved ...more
Melissa
I really liked this book a lot. Very current, relevant story line.
Mary K
This was a very realistic fiction telling both sides of how people react to strangers in their town. The Somali refugees have come in large numbers to a small Maine town. The students are basically unknown until three of them join the soccer team. Then people begin to question their eligibility because their birthdates are not known (common for many refugees). The captain of the team befriends Saeed but even he in his naivete causes more problems for his friend's family. No simple answers here a ...more
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