I have literally just finished this book, and I am in awe. The writing and the effort put into this book is tremendous, but I'll get to that later. Tom, captian of Chamberlain's soccer team has his world turned upside down when Somali immigirants flood into his town post the 9/11 incidents. Forced to deal with four of them as they join the soccer team, Tom finds himself infront of a society and culture he can't quite understand. But if it's hard for Tom to adjust, how hard is it for Somalis themselves? Starting this book, I was afraid. Afraid that the stereotype of Muslims and Africans won't fail to make it into this novel. I was also afraid how inaccurate some of the details about the Islamic culture might be. I must say, I was in for a surprise. Maria Padian really did her research, and was able to capture the essence of that culture. Coming from a Muslim country myself, I understood how those immigrants might feel coming to a foreign country, dealing with cultural differences and so. Although, sometimes certain details were a bit inaccurate, like how all/most Muslims in the novel are super conservative and religous and how they all same be afraid of dogs and whatever was completely exaggerated, but I related that to the Somali culture more so than the Islamic one. The plot and the writing style were really, really good. I liked Tom as a narrator and protoganist, and I like the world Maria built. I liked how neutral she tried to stay on alot of subjects, how objective her characters were and how she could finally portray an arab (Yes, Somalia is an arabic country) as a normal person, a friend, instead of the suicidal terrorist. Saeed was an absolute joy to read about. He has to be one of my favourite characters ever. I think, whoever is reading this article, thinks that this novel is mainly about politics and religion. No way. This novel falls easily into the YA contemporary genre, along with teenage romance and girl fights (Regina George style!) and high school drama, I think the only difference is that it took a whole new side that you don't see alot in YA and discussed it. This novel has so many deep meanings yet somehow delivers it's message subtly, without souding too preachery. It was a fun, emotional and fast paced book and I enjoyed reading it alot. The ending left me quite emotional, but I think overall, the book stands out from other YA contemporaries. *A copy was kindly provided by the publishers in exhange for an honest review.