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3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  694 Ratings  ·  143 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
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
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.
Well... it was better than I expected since book club books are pretty bad nowadays.

I was able to guess who Tariq Hassan was and why they were convicted, but that's probably because I watch a bunch of terrible movies. Otherwise, it was pretty interesting. The only problem was that I felt that everything was very abrupt and I hoped that maybe it could have been a more elaborate plan.

It just seemed like Stratton had this idea that wasn't quite complete.

Otherwise, it wasn't too far off the line.
Sara Shalash
May 25, 2010 Sara Shalash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Int'l librarian
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
Mar 24, 2013 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jun 16, 2011 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-boy, y-contemporary
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.
May 12, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clean, clear writing with believable characters and good plot.
Mar 23, 2017 P5richief rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book “Borderline” by “Allan Stratton” which a story about a nerding Kid named Sami living in upstate New York who is trying to fit in despite being the only muslim kid in his entire prestigious private school. But as the story continues Sami’s suspicions start to rise about his Dad’s constant trip to toronto. Sami’s suspect an affair but that suspicion is but to rest when the FBI barges in arresting Sami’s dad as a part of an international terrorist investigation. Being this ti
Kassandra (A Spectacular Reader)
This book was okay. The most interesting part was when he confronted the guy, (although I find his his friends buying his explanation to why they should go to Canada very unrealistic) and the big reveal was interesting. The way things ended seemed realistic to me.

idk about law and governments, but shouldn't you get some sort of penalty for lying to the government? Wouldn't falsely testifying to the government be similar to hindering investigations and wasting resources? Like at least a fine or
Jul 02, 2017 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a thriller. The title grabbed me then the booked hooked me. I loved it so so much and I could read it over and over again. The twists in the book made me go like "wow" "no no no no, this can't". Like things got so intense but so good.
Maryam Asif
Jul 16, 2017 Maryam Asif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, sad at times with the circumstances as well. First half was boring but I liked the ending. It dealt with really important issues and made it very important for me to read. Try it out!
Apr 25, 2011 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 15, 2009 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
*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
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
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
Jul 19, 2010 Edi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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
Kevin Ray
Mar 01, 2012 Kevin Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2013 Christie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
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
Sep 02, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Muhammad Ali
Apr 24, 2015 Muhammad Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults
Recommended to Muhammad by: my library teacher
Borderline by Allan Stratton is a very unique novel that begins with the protagonist whose name is Mohammed Sami Sabiri, a fifteen year old boy, who has a couple of friends (Andy and Marty) and is bullied because he is a Muslim. Sami and his parents live in Rochester. One day, Sami’s father (Arman) asks if Sami wants to go to Toronto and go see the Leafs play on Friday and the Jays play on Saturday, Sami agrees. However, his father later cancels this plan because he had to cover a speech for a ...more
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
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
Lexi Nicholas
Oct 29, 2014 Lexi Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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
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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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