Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
Life’s not easy for Sami Sabiri, especially since his dad stuck him at a private boys’ school where he’s the only Muslim kid. But it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
When Sami catches his father in a lie, he gets suspicious. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. In a whirlwind, the FBI and RCMP descend, and Sami suddenly finds his family at the centre of an international terror plot. Everything he’s ever known comes into question as Sami fights to keep his world from unravelling.
Borderline is an action-packed page-turner about loyalty and identity, starring a funny and gutsy 15-year-old determined to save his father, his family and his life.
About the author
est l'auteur de renommée internationale du roman Le secret de Chanda, un livre sur la liste d'honneur Michael L.
Printz. Son adaptation cinématographique, Life Above All, a
remporté le prix François Chalais au Festival de Cannes. Son dernier roman
thriller pour jeunes adultes, Les chiens, a gagné le prix Red
Maple de l'Association canadienne des bibliothèques et a été mis en
nomination pour le prix Arthur Ellis et le prix Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz.
Allan habite à Toronto, en Ontario.
Allan Stratton is an acclaimed playwright and author, who began his career acting at the Stratford Festival and regional theaters across Canada. His plays include "Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii" and "Rexy!," winner of a Chalmers Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Canadian Author's Association Award. Leslie's Journal is Allan's first novel for teens. Allan now lives in Toronto with his partner, a dog, three cats and any number of fish.
BorderlineEver 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 falling apart.
With his latest book for young adults, internationally acclaimed author Allan Stratton has created an edge-of-your-seat thriller that explores issues of racial stereotyping and prejudice and plays on our fears of terrorism.
The hook of the novel is the state of uncertainty that Stratton keeps his readers in until the end. Immediately before his father’s arrest, Sami catches him in a lie, creating doubt of his innocence. Sami’s father might be innocent. You hope he’s innocent. You can even believe that he’s probably innocent, falsely accused because of his race. But, and there is a big but here, there seems to also be a lot of evidence pointing to his guilt, and there is no obvious answer.
Borderline is also a perfect novel for a unit on Social Justice. There can be no true justice for Sami or his family, and this is a transforming lesson. There are several references to how hard his parents work to prove they belong in their middle-class white neighbourhood and, with the exception of a Jewish history teacher, the school turns a blind eye to Sami’s suffering. When his father is accused of terrorism, a climate of fear becomes an excuse for persecution, calling into question who the real terrorists are.
While the subject of this novel may place this better in a high school classroom, sophisticated middle school readers will also find much to discuss and enjoy.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.