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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Out of Nowhere - Maria Padian

Released February 2013

Maria Padian

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

There is an organization my daughter is a member of that I think should be part of every school. I was delighted when something similar showed up in Out of Nowhere. This group is called A World of Difference (AWOD) and teaches children to stand up to bullying and racial or sexual discrimination. At heart, that is the story found in Out of Nowhere.

Tom Bouchard is a typical, well-liked senior. When he's not getting homework done, playing soccer, or hanging out with friends, he's usually with his girlfriend trying to appease her demanding ways. As the captain of his team, he sees great potential in a new Somalian refugee and invites him to try out. He soon befriends Saeed and other refugees who have flocked to his small Maine town.

While Tom has a good head on his shoulders, many in the town do not like the sudden influx of Somalians. Even the mayor seems against them. Tom's new friendship is threatened by something he doesn't feel should matter -- race.

I really, really loved Out of Nowhere. Tom's struggle with what he knows in his heart is right with the things he hears his peers and even an uncle saying comes off as very realistic. What's sad is that a aspects of this book is true. There is a Maine town where Somalian refugees moved to and the mayor told them to "accept our culture and leave your culture at the door." Maine is one of the most accepting states I know of, and to have him make a comment like that seems shocking. I am glad to hear that the mayor is greatly outnumbered in that sentiment.

This is a great book. It teaches a valuable lesson and is really hard to put down.

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