Borderline
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Borderline

5.0 7
by Allan Stratton
     
 

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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

Overview

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 investigation. Now Sami must fight to keep his world from unraveling.

An explosive thriller ripped from today's headlines, borderline is the story of a funny, gutsy Muslim-American teen determined to save his father, his family, and his life.

Editorial Reviews

Rita Williams-Garcia
"Allan Stratton spins these otherwise ordinary lives on a dime and a secret. Borderline is as astonishing as it is all quite possible."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The book is fast-paced suspense. A timely addition to YA lit about Muslim Americans, this will find an audience among those hungry for insight or commiseration.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The book is fast-paced suspense. A timely addition to YA lit about Muslim Americans, this will find an audience among those hungry for insight or commiseration."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The book is fast-paced suspense. A timely addition to YA lit about Muslim Americans, this will find an audience among those hungry for insight or commiseration.”
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Mohammad Sami Sabiri, fifteen, is the son of Iranian immigrants and at the novel's opening all he wants to do is be left alone by his anxious, overachieving father and his loving but hovering mother. The very worst thing in his recent past is an encounter with Mary Louise Prescott who shares her chocolate bars with him ("But that's not all she wanted to share.") The episode would have been comical, only it led to Sami's dad yanking him out of public school and enrolling him in the expensive private Theodore Roosevelt Academy for Boys. An overnight camping escapade with his public school buddies Marty and Andy ends up with Sami's passport getting into the hands of the Canadian authorities and in pretty short order, Sami is faced not only with an FBI raid on the family's house but with the arrest of his father. Here is a well paced story that feels all too terrifyingly real. Sami's first person voice is sometimes funny, occasionally wistful, often touching, and always credible. Secondary characters too are purposefully drawn, from the blustering bully Eddy Harrison to the sympathetic Mr. Bernstein who places himself at risk in supporting Sami. Sami's own growing understanding of the world remains at the heart of the novel, even as he is driven by the mystery he seeks to unravel. Cultural context is handled with care and concern. Stratton shows his skill in the way he renders the struggles of Sami's family to find and hold on to their hard won place in America, and equally in his depiction of fragile lives in the marginalized Muslim community in which Sami tracks down his father's secret. A plausible and compelling story of our time. Borderline could easily be paired with Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos, and Bifocal by Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
Publishers Weekly
Printz Honor–winner Stratton (Chanda's Secrets) explores the genesis of and fallout from racial and religious discrimination in this thriller about a Muslim boy's life, which is turned on its head when his father is accused of collaborating with Islamic terrorists in a plot to contaminate the water supplies in New York City and Toronto. But 15-year-old Mohammed “Sami” Sabiri has more to worry about than the resulting media circus and his father's incarceration. How can he avoid being bullied at school? How will his mother support the family after being fired? And are the allegations about his father true or are they the result of a scared community and a government embracing prejudice at its worst? When Sami goes undercover to verify his father's innocence, the story reaches a fist-clenching pinnacle before a conclusion that should defy readers' expectations. Despite the sensitive subject matter and potential for sensationalistic writing, Stratton proceeds with a steady hand. It's a powerful story and excellent resource for teaching tolerance, with a message that extends well beyond the timely subject matter. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
As in Chanda's Secrets (2004) and Chanda's Wars (2008), Stratton explodes with political relevance, this time exploring dangers that are more familiar to American readers-or should be. Fifteen-year-old Sami, a Muslim, lives in a white suburb outside Rochester, N.Y. Schoolmates call him "sand monkey" and bully him. When Sami's father nervously "can't explain" why he changes a Toronto father-son trip into a solo excursion, the text subtly invokes contemporary stereotypes to hint at terrorism. The theme slams outward when Homeland Security smashes into Sami's house one night, tackling Sami, interrogating him in the basement about the Toronto trip and dragging dad to jail. Here the genre jostles awkwardly from YA realism into thriller. Sami's daring escapades (sneaking across the border; tracking down a hidden alleged terrorist) bring resolution, swapping the plot's believability for a relieving conclusion. But only the kid-as-hero motif rings fictional-the curtailing of civil rights, the explicit targeting of young Muslim men and the manic, dangerously unchecked power of U.S. and Canadian anti-terrorism forces are deathly realistic dangers in this vitally educational page-turner. (Fiction. YA)
Booklist
“Tense and compelling. A fast, exciting read with weighty underpinnings.”
BookPage
“A thrilling suspense story. Sami’s quest to clear his father’s name will carry readers along for an exciting ride.”
Tim Wynne-Jones
“Smart, meticulously plotted, and thrilling. The scariest thing about Borderline is how utterly believable it is.”
Gary D. Schmidt
“A compelling coming–of–age novel about acceptance and fear, wrapped in a fascinating adventure/thriller/mystery. All these elements are shaken mightily in Allan Stratton’s latest—as we are.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The book is fast-paced suspense. A timely addition to YA lit about Muslim Americans, this will find an audience among those hungry for insight or commiseration.”
Rita Williams–Garcia
“Allan Stratton spins these otherwise ordinary lives on a dime and a secret. Borderline is as astonishing as it is all quite possible.”
Rita Williams–Garcia
“Allan Stratton spins these otherwise ordinary lives on a dime and a secret. Borderline is as astonishing as it is all quite possible.”
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Fifteen-year-old Sami Sabiri is a typical suburban teen. He is a good student, has a close group of friends, and struggles to live up to his father's expectations. He faces some bullying at school because of his Muslim faith, and does not get the support from the administration to stop it. When his dad cancels a planned trip to Toronto with him, Sami begins to suspect he might be having an affair. He checks up on him and unknowingly stirs up a completely different investigation of the man's behavior. Is Sami's dad a terrorist? What ensues is a tautly paced thriller with well-crafted characters and realistic teen dialogue. It is the plausibility of the plotline that makes it, ultimately, so disturbing. The FBI breaks into the Sabiris' house one night, destroys their belongings, and takes Sami's father away. The teen's troubles at school are neatly juxtaposed with the assumptions made by the FBI about his dad, and ultimately lead toward a positive resolution to Sami's relationship with his father. This is a great, fast-paced read that will have particular appeal to fans of the television show 24. It is also notable for its characterization of a strong male Muslim who is true to his faith and struggles to do the right thing throughout. While the cover art is not compelling, this title will make an excellent booktalk. Once it finds its way into the hands of teens, word of mouth will ensure that it circulates.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061451119
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/09/2010
Pages:
298
Sales rank:
821,278
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
HL560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Gary D. Schmidt
“A compelling comingofage novel about acceptance and fear, wrapped in a fascinating adventure/thriller/mystery. All these elements are shaken mightily in Allan Stratton’s latest—as we are.”

Meet the Author

Allan Stratton is the internationally acclaimed author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book Chanda's Secrets. His novel Chanda's Wars was a Junior Library Guild selection, and his other novels, Borderline and Leslie's Journal, were both ALA Best Book for Young Adults selections. Allan has safaried in Africa, hiked the Great Wall of China, explored pyramids in Egypt, and flown over Cappadocia in a balloon. He lives with his partner in Toronto with four cats and a whole lot of fish.

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Borderline 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting. I will mot give away what happens but you should read to find out. Great read. I reccomend for 14 or 15 year olds.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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 starts growing suspicious of him. When a trip to Canada with his public school buddies results in his passport falling into the hands of the Canadian authorities, a raid on his house by the FBI, and his father being arrested, facts start leading towards one thing - his father being a terrorist. Soon, his life at school becomes unbearable and his mother is fired from her job, all because of the media coverage of his father's arrest. With no help from authorities and lack of a better idea, Sami decides to go undercover to prove his father's innocence. Will Sami be able to stand by his father despite the overwhelming evidence? Is his father innocent or guilty? Will his life ever be the same? BORDERLINE is an extremely suspenseful book. The characters are well-developed and purposefully constructed. The plot is fast-paced and intense. Readers who like suspense, mystery, action, and adventure will have a hard time putting this book down.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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