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Borderline by Allan Stratton

y Allan Stratton

Publishing Information: HarperTeen: New York, 2010
ISBN: 9780061451119
: 320 p.
Ages: 12 & Up

When Sami's Iranian dad is accused of involvement in a terrorist plot, Sami risks his own life to uncover the truth despite the fact that they don’t get along.

When the FBI descends in a whirlwind on Sami Sabiri's home, Sami is shocked to find his family has been accused of being at the center of an international terror plot. Now Sami's biggest problems certainly isn't that he's the only Muslim kid at school or that he's been suspicious of his dad for a while. Instead, everything he has evern known comes into questino, and he must fight to keep his world from unraveling.

Book Trailer:

Book Talk:
The Truth is closing in....

Life is not easy for Sami Sabiri since his dad stuck him at private school for the priviledged where he's the only Muslim kid. In fact one guy, called Turd by Sami, seems out to do everything he can to make Sami's life miserable. But things are about to get a lot worse.

It all starts when he catches his dad in a lie. They were supposed to have a father-son weekend in Toronto, but his dad had to cancel because of his job. The only problem is that he runs across some signs that his dad did something other than attending the conference he was supposed to speak at. Could he be having an affair?

Sami is not the only one with suspicions. 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.

This is 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.

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Father and Son

Awards & Reviews:
Canadian Library Association: Best Young Adult Fiction Award, 2011
Young Adult Library Services Association Best Books for Young Adults, 2011
Texas Tayshas Reading LIst, 2012
White Pine Award Nominee, 2011

Booklist, January 15, 2010
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October 1, 2010
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2010
Multicultural Review June 1, 2010
Publishers Weekly, February 1, 2010 (Starred Review)
School Library Journal, March 1, 2010 (Starred Review)
Teacher Librarian, December 1, 2010

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. What does it feel like for Sami to be an Iranian-American? How does he deal with the bullying?Have you had any experience with bullying?

  2. How does Sami feel about his father? What is their relationship like? Have you ever felt like that?

  3. Does Sami trust his father? Does he believe that he could be guilty of terrorism? Have you ever distrusted someone close to do? How did that make you feel?

  4. What other choices could Sami have made rather than to begin to investigate his own father? What would you have done?

  5. Why does Sami decide to cross border to clear his father?

  6. How do Sami’s experiences change him? Have you had an experience that has changed you?

Related Websites:
Author's Website -
ABC News: Islam in America Teen Roundtable -
FBI: Terrorism -

American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America by Richard Wrmser, 2002
The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook
by Dilara Hafiz, 2009
Ask Me No Questions
by Marina Tamar Budhos, 2006
by Deborah Ellis, 2007
Blaze of Silver
by K.M. Grant, 2007
Does My Head Look Big in This?
by Randa Abdel-Fattah, 2007
The Enemy Has a Face
by Gloria D. Miklowitz, 2003
Finding Lubchenko by Michael Simmons, 2005
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
by Firoozeh Dumas, 2003
by Matt Whyman, 2007
In the Name of God
by Paula Jolin, 2007
The Innocent's Story by Nicky Singer, 2007
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow
by Faiza Guene, 2006
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran
by Azadeh Moaveni, 2005
The Long Way Home
by Andrew Klavan, 2010
Muslims in America
by Frederick Mathewson Denny, 2007
by Andy McNab, 2006
by Carl Deuker, 2005 (2007 RITBA Nominee)
Saving Sky
by Diane Stanley
Skunk Girlby Sheba Karim, 2009
Streams of Babel
by Carol Plum-Ucci, 2008 (2010 RITBA Nominee)
Fire Will Fall
by Carol Plum-Ucci, 2010
The Terrorist
by Caroline B. Cooney, 1997
Zeitoun by Dave Eggars, 2009

Other Books by the Author:
The Phoenix Lottery, 1998
Leslie's Journal, 2000
Chandra's Secrets, 2004
Chandra's Wars, 2008

About the Author:
Allan Stratton is the internationally acclaimed author of Chanda's Secrets, an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book, an ALA Booklist's Editor's Choice, winner of the Children's Africana Book Award, and many others. Allan began his career as a playwright. His comedy Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii (1980), remains one of the most produced plays in Canadian theater history. Other award-winning plays include Rexy!, Papers, and Bag Babies. Allan’s newest novel, Chanda's Wars, won the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Canadian Book Award, 2009, and is on both the Canadian and USA CCBC Best Books Lists. Other awards include the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Chalmers Award, the Stephen Leacock Award of Merit, and the shortlist for the Canadian Governor General’s Book Award, and the Toronto Book Award. He is published in the USA, France, Germany, Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Australia, and Slovenia.

| ©2004 - Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee | Aaron Coutu, Chair