Out of Nowhere

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Last updated 5 years ago

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Out of Nowhere

Maria Padian

PLOT CONFLICTS - Person vs. Self- Person vs. Society- Person vs. PersonExplanation-Tom experiences an internal conflict in this novel. One things that Tom hates is talking about the future, college in particular. He does not understand why so many people are forcing him to do it. He doesn’t know whether he should go to college, or be like his uncle and do odd jobs for a living. Myla helps him make the choice when she tells him to, “Think of going to college as a privilege instead of a punishment… as a healthy, smart white male growing up in one of the safest, most prosperous countries in the world you have the moral obligation to do something worthwhile with your life” (Padian, 126). Tom then understands that he should be thankful for everything that he has, especially since people Saeed have nothing and they are still very thankful and make do with what they have. - One major external conflict in this novel is between the prejudiced people in Maine and the Somali community. The mayor of Enniston even makes national news because she publically asks everyone that no more Somalis come to Enniston. Although the prejudice never truly goes away, the Somali people feel more welcomed when many people in Ennistion have a rally to support all the Somalis in the community. -Another external conflict is between Joshua Chamberlain High School and Maquoit High School. They have always been rivals, and Chamberlain has never won against Maquoit. Maquoit even tried to take Saeed off of the team by saying that he was too old to play, because he didn’t know the exact year he was born. However, Chamberlain finally beats Maquoit thanks to Saeed and the other Somali guys on the team.

Themes:- Importance of Culture- Racial Prejudice- Gratefulness Message:- Be thankful for what you have because some people dream of having it.

Tom Bouchard has a pretty great life. Tom lives in Enniston, Maine and attends Joshua Chamberlain High School. He’s the captain of the soccer team, ranked third in his whole senior class, and is dating the most popular girl at school. The only worry he has is college. During this time many Sunni Muslim Somali war refugees start showing up in town. They’re literally everywhere. Everyday new kids are at school, but this doesn’t bother Tom since the Somali guys on the team are amazing at soccer. Throughout the novel, Tom is forced to witness the struggles for these Somalis, who have already lived through war, due to cultural differences, lack of communication skills, and the prejudice towards Muslims in the post 9/11 society. Tom sees how they look past everything and how they are still thankful for what they have. They make a big impact on the way Tom views things, but then something strange happens. They just disappear. No one is sure why and no one seems to know where they went…

This novel is written in first person from the point of view of a high school teenager; Tom Bouchard. Maria Padian made sure to write the novel as if someone as brilliant as Tom was writing it while still making sure it sounded like it was coming from the point of view of a high schooler. Even though the novel talked about serious issues like racial prejudice and culture, Padian decided not give the book a very serious tone. She adds a little bit of humour to her work.

Report Written By:Preethi Tumati

- Tom Bouchard: Protagonist; Dynamic- Donnie Plourde: Dynamic- Myla: Static- Saeed: Static- Samira: StaticDescriptions-Tom Bouchard: He is the main character and protagonist of the novel. Tom’s grandparents were from France and settled in Maine. He's captain of the soccer team and ranked third in his senior class. After playing a prank on a rival school, he has to become a tutor for Somali kids, which leads to him learning more about that Somalis in his community. Tom is very empathetic and honest. Tom is a dynamic character, because due to his encounters with the Somalis, his views on many things in life changes. - Donnie Plourde: Donnie and Tom have been best friends since they were kids. Donnie is pretty much the opposite of Tom. He is quite reckless. He didn’t have a very good upbringing, because his parents never used to spend time with him. It was Donnie’s idea to pull the prank that gets Tom in trouble, but Tom forgives him and they’re still best friends. Donnie is also a dynamic character, because due to a certain event, Donnie realizes the consequences of his actions. - Myla: She is a college student, who goes to Mumford University, and works at the tutoring center where Tom completes his community service hours. She cares very much about Somalis in the community. She does all that she can to help them. Myla helps Tom realize how ignorant he was being of the situation around him when Tom was going on about how college was stupid. . Myla is a static character, because throughout the novel she does not go through any major changes. - Saeed: He is one the Somali players on Tom’s soccer team. Of all the Somalis, Tom was the closest to Saeed. Saeed is a phenomenal soccer player. Although it is a little hard for Tom and Saeed to communicate at first, they soon become very good friends. Saeed introduces Tom to some Somali culture. He also tells Tom all about how he was separated from his family when he was in Africa. He was luckily able to come to America to be with them after many years. Saeed is also a static character, because his personality and views stay the same throughout the whole novel. - Samira: She is Saeed’s sister. At first Samira hates Tom, but eventually she warms up to him and they become friends, even though they still have small disagreements. Samira came to America before Saeed with the rest of her family. They used to live in Atlanta, but moved due to the high cost of living. She is very intellignet and helps Tom and Myla and the tutoring center. Tom ses Samira as very traditional, although some disagree, and is very empathetic towards her. She is humiliated by Tom's ex-girlfriend, which leads to many people calling her a disgrace to her family. This might be one of the reason she leaves. Samira is a static character because she does not undergo any major changes. De

I would recommed this book.

Out of Nowhere


You gotta 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."

Background Info: Somali Migration


Author's Writing Style

SETTING- Enniston, Maine (Based of a real town: Lewiston, Maine)- Around a year after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers


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