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Out of Nowhere

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  888 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
At Maquoit High School, Tom Bouchard has it made: captain and star of the 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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Popular Answered Questions
Maria Ah, Lauren ... writing a paper?
How about the theme of economic disparity? How does Alex Rhodes' world at Maquoit High School differ from Tom…more
Ah, Lauren ... writing a paper?
How about the theme of economic disparity? How does Alex Rhodes' world at Maquoit High School differ from Tom Bouchard's world in Enniston? How do those pressures manifest themselves both on and off the soccer field?

Maria Hi Maria,
I think it depends on the 12 to 13 year old, that's an age where kids are all over map in terms of maturity. I would have no qualms, however,…more
Hi Maria,
I think it depends on the 12 to 13 year old, that's an age where kids are all over map in terms of maturity. I would have no qualms, however, with assigning a class of 14-year olds to read this book.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: don't remember
Shelves: favorites
"Here's the thing about luck: it doesn't have to lock you in. I mean, yeah, it sets you up. Donald Trump's kid is set up for college and yachts, while the kid whose dad got fired from the paper mill is set up for cavities because now they can't afford the dentist.

But you still have choices, no matter how big or small your luck quotient is. "

Wow.. just wow! A beautiful, moving story with characters you can root for... Nothing is black and white in here, the issues in here are handled with grace
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
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-read, ya
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
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, ya
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
Tepolak Seth
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, more than I expected to. This book has made me change my perspective on life. It made me see life a different way. I realized how lucky I am while reading this book. It made me feel really grateful and I'm touched. The book is way far from boring! It was incredibly moving.
Richie Partington
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Reid Osborne
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tom goes to school at the Enniston High School at a place and time when Somali refugees were coming in. Tom is the star of the soccer team, third of his class, and dating the prettiest and most popular girl in the high school. He’s always helping other Somalis and looking for other girls to date or hang out with. However, everything changes after the 9/11 attack.
    In the year of 2001 Maine was a “second migration” when Somali refugees came flooding in for a better job and a better life. In Ou
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
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
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone.
'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 don't dare tackle hard issues and at the same time portray the characters as the age they actuall
(Source: review request by publisher - Random House Children's Books via Netgalley. Thanks to Random House Children's Books, and Netgalley.)
Tom plays soccer, and likes to ignore his college applications instead of filling them in.
The small town where Tom lives has a large Somali immigrant population, and not everyone is happy about it. Race doesn’t matter to Tom though, and he is happy to help a boy called Saeed make it onto the soccer team.

After a practical joke gone wrong, Tom find himself lan
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
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
Keira Francis
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
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
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
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

Out of Nowhere is a very eye-opening book. I really enjoyed the story from beginning to end. At no point did I find it to be dull or boring. I found myself getting attached to characters, which made parts near the end actually make me a little emotional.

Maria Padian does an amazing job of portraying Somali people and their culture in the book. It seemed obvious to me that she did a lot of research about their culture and religion when writing this
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A story of contemporary America - in small town Maine: an influx of Somali families. It is told from the perspective of a typical all-American white boy, a senior in high school, loved by the ladies, third in his class ranking and captain of his soccer team. He talks a couple of new Somali guys into joining the team, and they learn together the bonds of friendship and "how choices we make, or don't make, come to define us".

My favorite quote: "Welcome to Girl World," she said, and laughed. "It's
Marshwood HS Library
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. GREAT YA book! So perfectly suited to current issues about refugees and universal issues of communication, cultural understanding, class, and growing up. In this story of a Maine high school soccer team (think Lewiston), a young man wrestles with town and school politics, negative cyber communication, friendships that straddle a cultural divide, and navigating the minefield of teenage romantic relationships. The dialog is authentic and true, the characters sensitively portrayed without ove ...more
Natalie Couch
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking, tear-jerking, full of actual consequences, planned behavior, integrity, mistakes, confession, and teen stupidity, this novel is definitely a should-read. I loved the compassion and genuinely good characters in this novel about humanity, religion, racism, and responsibility.
Even though I seriously dislike novels for teens with the message of accepted promiscuity and foul language, the values and message in this one outweigh my reservations.
Renee Doucette
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reading
Everyone should read this book. It captures perfectly not only The setting of Maine but the complexities of being a teenager. Maria Padian weaves the struggles of an increasing refugee population in "Enniston" (read Lewiston) for not only the refugees but also the American students who are learning about the Somali culture in an unexpected way. I loved this story.
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Emma M
Nov 21, 2014 added it
This was a very good book. This book had many emotions giving it more of a purpose. I like all of it every chapter left you hanging wanting more. It was a great plot with words the pulled you deeper into the story. I loved this story!
Ann Lee
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book that makes you think and live through the whole story with Tom. Both tears and laughter involved.
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book a lot. Very current, relevant story line.
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Class of 2015: Out of Nowhere 1 10 Apr 26, 2015 09:24AM  
Class of 2015: Book Review 1 7 Jan 05, 2014 07:05PM  
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I'm a reader and an author: not a critic or a reviewer! I believe in the power of stories. So while I definitely have my opinions about the things I read, my primary goal is to share great books and promote literature, which is one of my great, abiding passions.

That said, I'm no longer going to affix stars to the books I read. I'll offer a comment or two, and maybe if I'm deliriously in love and
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