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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  532 ratings  ·  123 reviews
The truth is closing in.

Life's not easy for Sami Sabiri since his dad stuck him at a private school where he's the only Muslim kid. But it's about to get a lot worse.

When Sami catches his father in a lie, he gets suspicious. . . . He's not the only one. In a whirlwind, the FBI descends on his home, and Sami's family becomes the center of an international terrorist investig
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by HarperTeen
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Allan Stratton
Jan 08, 2010 Allan Stratton added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

I'm the author of BORDERLINE -- and I love meeting readers. If you have any questions about the book, please email me here or through my website

BORDERLNE is a coming-of-age mystery/thriller/suspense centered around a gutsy, funny, Muslim teen whose dad is accused of being part of an international terrorist plot. To save his family, Sami must risk everything to discover the truth about his father's secrets. It's a story about parents and children, family and friendship, i
v. v. nice tautly paced....makes-you-think-about-the-world-we-live-in thriller. recommend highly...esp for teen boys...and a truly positive portrayal of a strong male muslim teen character, who is true to his faith and really wants to do the right thing.
Richie Partington
20 December 2009 BORDERLINE by Allan Stratton, Harper Teen, March 2010, 320p., ISBN: 978-0-06-145111-9; Libr. ISBN: 978-0-06-145112-6

"Roll you down the line boy, drop you for a loss,
Ride you out on a cold railroad and nail you to a cross."
-- Petersen/Lesh "Unbroken Chain"

"Sometime after midnight, I eventually drift off. I wake up at four, drenched in sweat. For the first time since I can remember, I have this need to pray. I wash my hands, face, and feet in the laundry tub. Lay a blanket on my b
Sara Shalash
Whoa. What an intense read! Being a Muslim girl, I have to say that Borderline was the closest representation of Islam that I've read about. It wasn't perfect, but it was close to it. It was nice having so much in common with the main character. I haven't read anything about this subject and I'm sure not many have you either.

Sami is forced to attend an all boy academy after having some trouble at his old school. Although he keeps his two buddies with him, everyone else makes fun of him. He stick
I almost stopped reading this book at least three times, when the plot hit its unbelievable peaks. A gang of students torture a classmate in the bathroom, a teacher breaks up the attack, and the gang is able to twist the story and blackmail the teacher into retiring? A US teenager sneaks into Canada to uncover a terrorist, and convinces his two goofball buddies to join him? The FBI conducts its own raid of the teenager’s home – his father is implicated in the terrorism after all – assaults the t ...more
This was a fast paced thriller which really held my interest. I loved the fact that we get to see from the POV of an Arab-American family. It showed the prejudice that these families live with and was a little bit about bullying as well. Sami was a great conflicted character. He wanted to honor his religion but fit in as well. How does a teen do that in today's society that picks on the one who is different? Stratton does a great job of showing his conflict. I think the value of the book lies in ...more
Lexi Nicholas
Borderline is a wonderfully written novel by Allan Stratton. From my perspective, it is one of the most spectacular books I have ever laid eyes on. Borderline is about a teenage boy named Sami Sabri. Sami's dad has recently stuck him into a private school where he is the only kid of a Muslim religion. Unknowingly, the tables have turned and it is about to get a whole lot worse for the young boy. Sami and his father have just planned a father and son weekend in Toronto but his father cancels last ...more
Mrs. Nicole
Sami Sabiri is the only Muslim teen in his high school. Being raised by ultra conservative parents makes him feel like an outsider. When Sami's father starts to become more distant and even cancels a father-son weekend trip to Toronto Sami envisions the worst. Then the FBI shows up at the Sabiri house and accuses Sami's father of being part of a terrorist organization. Sami must risk it all to save his father, his family, and their reputation. Very realistic and exciting.
This was an interesting read (fiction), giving the reader a glance into the life of an American Muslin family. The main character is a teenage boy enrolled at a private school. The reader sees the bullying he goes through because of his heritage...the assumptions made...the courageous stand made by a supportive teacher. When his father gets arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist, Sami's life gets turned upside down.Having taught at a Muslim school, I connected with this book and couldn't hel ...more
Kevin Graham
For me Borderline was a coming of age story of a young man who goes through struggles not many kids his age have to. Sami's family comes from the Middle East and events unfold that lead to his father being taken by the FBI and Sami goes on a journey of appreciating who he is and where he comes from and becomes much more mature. I personally really enjoyed this book it was difficult for me to put down and an extremely easy read. I can't say I was overly excited about the ending. I feel like there ...more
How Sami, a Muslim American high schooler, deals with the arrest of his father for being accused of terrorism. His father has done some unexplainable things but Sami believes in his innocence and is determined to bring out the truth. A good contemporary story.
Clean, clear writing with believable characters and good plot.
Oct 21, 2014 Selena rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who likes reading many things about different cultures
Recommended to Selena by: library
I thought that this book was amazing! It shows that when you find out one thing that the world can flip in a blink of the eye. It shows that when you do some things in the past then they can definitely come back and haunt you in your future. I love how the author did not leave me hanging on what was happening in the book. Every detail was filled. I love how in the end of the book they ended it with what the boy think will happen. They kind of let you come up with your own conclusion of what happ ...more
Borderline addresses a topic that we are all very familiar with but places emphasis on one particular family and their struggle as they find themselves in the midst of an FBI interrogation. I had never read a novel that dealt with terrorism in general and I enjoyed the personal look at a family struggling with particular accusations.

Sami is the protagonist and I loved him from the very beginning. He is very easy to relate to and I was always pulling for him, angry when he was teased and bullied
Mohammed Sami Sabiri is a high school student in upstate New York who has struggled to fit his whole life. Since his Dad enrolled him in a private boys school where he is the only Muslim, things have only gotten worse for Sami, as he chooses to call himself. But he doesn't realize how bad things can get until the FBI ransacks his home and hauls his father to prison accused of terrorism. In an effort to save his family, Sami risks his own life to find the truth that will set his father free.

Allan Stratton’s YA novel Borderline wouldn’t necessarily be something I’d pick up on my own, but I am trying to read more ‘boy’ books, especially those that might appeal to reluctant readers. I’ve inherited a class this semester and the majority of them are boys and many of them wouldn’t exactly put reading at the top of their to-do lists. I always think the key to reading success is to find just one book that they like. Borderline could be that book for someone.

Sami Sabiri is almost sixteen. H
*more like 3.5 stars*

Allan Stratton's Borderline is a compelling, honest, and thought provoking look into one Muslim-American teen's life whose world changes in the matter of seconds.

Sami is a character who was facing a lot even before his father's arrest, so now with it added in, he's not sure what he's going to do. Since not only is his family falling apart now, but he is too.

Sami constantly managed to surprise me with how far he would go to save everything; his life, his mother, and most im
Sami loves living in America. He knows no difference. Being born and growing up in America doesn't mean people don't glance at you out of the corner of their eyes because you look different. Sami's parents are of Iranian decent. He has their dark complexion, eyes and hair and they are Muslim. Finally, in fourth grade, he meets Andy. Andy is now his friend for life. They shoot hopes, go for ice cream, and went to the same school, until Mary Louise Patterson in the eighth grade. That was when his ...more
Kevin Ray
What would you do to clear your father’s name? Would you cross the line? Sami Sabiri does both literally and figuratively in Allan Stratton’s Borderline. What starts out as a tale of a teenaged boy trying to fit into suburban America the best way he can turns into a tale of a modern day witch Hunt. Sami or Sammy as his friends call him is a Muslim, in a private school. With very few people to relate to Sami’s life is miserable. He has very few friends and even has to put up with Eddy, the school ...more
Sami is a teenage Iranian boy living in the US, close to the Canadian border. He goes to a private school and lives in a nice neighbourhood. He sometimes feels embarrased by his heritage- he doesn't like when his mother wears a hijab in public, and when he gets called in to the house for prayers, his parents use code. After an awkward incident with a girl, Sami's father becomes more strict and distant. The two are supposed to go to Toronto because Mr. Sabiri has a meeting there. It should have b ...more
Edi Campbell
Andy and Marty have been friends with Sammy every since they were little boys. Sammy’s dad isn’t real fond of Andy and Marty, of the nicknames they give his son or the sense of humor they have. He tries to teach his son that his friends should honor his name and not call him “Prophet”. Hence, the nickname Sammy/Sami. For Sammy’s dad, things are either right or wrong and making the correct choices is quite easy. If a child is having problems making a decision, parents are there to dictate what’s ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Borderline is a very real, compelling novel about acceptance and how as a society we look at other people. Allan tackled some very serious issues and wove together some very heart pounding, jaw dropping moments. Borderline is such a believable book, that at times I forgot I was reading a novel, and not something found on the news.

I was thrilled when we were asked if we'd like to review Borderline. It's the first time I've read a YA book that tackled some very tough issues and did so, so well. S
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Reviewed by Rachel Siegel

Ever since his father stuck him in a fancy private school, life has gotten worse for Sami Sabiri. As the only Muslim at a primarily white school, he’s subjected to constant bullying by the other students. Things go from bad to worse when his father is arrested, and his family is accused of being at the centre of an international terrorist plot to poison the water supply. Now everything he’s ever known is called into question, and Sami must fight to keep his world from fa
Mohammed "Sammy" Sabiri's life is just about everything his father would have watned. Decades earlier, Mr. Sabiri had fled from Iran to get away from the conservative, theocratic regime that was coming to power after the revolution there. He arrived in Canada before settling with a wife in upstate New York. Mr. Sabiri completed a high level of education dealing with microbiology and won a position that made him quite successful.

As a result, Sammy was attending a prestigious private school. He ha
Stratton, Allan. (2010). Borderline. New York: HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 304 pp. ISBN 978-0-06-145111-9 (Hard Cover); $16.99.

Sami Sabiri is used to being bullied for his Muslim faith. When his father is arrested for being a terrorist, however, the school bullying becomes a much smaller problem compared to proving his father’s innocence.

Sometimes in my mind significance trumps minor details. In this book Stratton introduces us to a very normal Muslim boy who is sometimes embarrassed by his parent
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

When 15-year-old Mohammed "Sami" Sabiri was caught by his father sharing chocolate with Mary Louise Prescott, a hot girl from school (who wanted to share more than that with him), he's yanked out of public school and sent to an expensive private school called the Theodore Roosevelt Academy for Boys. Since then, he has not had the best relationship with his father.

Sami's father cancels a planned trip with him to Toronto, but the stories don't add up and Sami
I loved Stratton's Chanda books and Borderline is another example of quality multicultural writing teens will be drawn to with the espionage, bullying and being Muslim in a private school. Sami has two great friends since fourth grade, Andy and Marty, yet he feels that his summer spent without them (his father wouldn't let him go on vacation with them) and having to return to his private school, has made Sami feel that his friends don't really need him. Things have been tense between Sami and hi ...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
Borderline is a very real, compelling novel about acceptance and how as a society we look at other people. Allan tackled some very serious issues and wove together some very heart pounding, jaw dropping moments. Borderline is such a believable book, that at times I forgot I was reading a novel, and not something found on the news.

I was thrilled when we were asked if we'd like to review Borderline. It's the first time I've read a YA book that tackled some very tough issues and did so, so well. S
This one had me fooled until the end, so I guess I don't want to say too much about the plot. The author did a great job of getting inside the main character's head. The anguish and conflicting thoughts and difficulty "choosing sides" was often shown in italicized text, visible self talk. The technique was very effective in showing rather than telling the turmoil inside Sami's head. Sami's response to the bullies was real but I wanted to jump in and have at Eddy Duh Turd. What a jerk. Even thoug ...more
Mohammed Sami Sabiri is a Muslim-American teenager living with his parents in New York. His parents are devout Muslims, his father escaped from Iran before Sami was born. Sami is a good kid but he doesn't always see eye to eye with his father who gets mad at him for any small infraction. One night the FBI storms in, takes Sami's father away, and accuses him of terrorism. Sami and his two best friends, Andy and Marty, work to discover the truth about his father and try to clear his name. They eve ...more
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Wild Things: YA G...: Borderline 2 29 Nov 04, 2013 10:24AM  
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ALLAN STRATTON is the internationally acclaimed author of CHANDA'S SECRETS, winner of the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Honor Book, the Children's Africana Book Award, and ALA Booklist's Editor's Choice among others. His first YA novel was the ALA Best Book LESLIE'S JOURNAL. His latest, CHANDA'S WARS, a Junior Library Guild selection, won the Canadian Library Association's Young ...more
More about Allan Stratton...
Chanda's Secrets (Chanda, #1) Leslie's Journal The Grave Robber's Apprentice Chanda's Wars (Chanda, #2) Curse of the Dream Witch

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“I like writing teen characters because they’re vulnerable to the newness of things; and vulnerability makes emotional responses raw, vital and unguarded. Lacking a context of consequences, choices are riskier and stakes higher. Life is lived without a safety net. As an author and reader, I find that a mighty charge to drama.” 3 likes
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