Apart from the fact that he is an Iranian American in a rather white neighborhood of Rochester New York, Sami is basically an ordinary teen. Like any teen he's developed an interest in exploring boundaries and finds himself breaking the odd rule. Unfortunately, as a visible minority, things that he does seem to count for more. His parents who desperately want him to fit in, react by putting him in an all boys private school where there are even more rules and boundaries.
His parents are political moderates who fled Iran when the revolution turned sour, but they are devout muslims nonetheless. This puts Sami in the awkward position of meeting two separate and contradictory sets of standards, the one dictated by his religion, and the one dictated by his parents' desire to fit seamlessly into the community.
When Sami sneaks off with two friends on an unsupervised cross borer escapade in the thousand islands, he soon finds himself in trouble with his father again. But his father has also inadvertently raised Sami's suspicions and soon Sami is spying on him. Before long he is drawn into an international incident. Soon Sami realises that the only way to save his family is through another secret border crossing. Borderlines is a well paced and intriguing glimpse into the lives of an ordinary muslim family plunged by chance into a spotlight of suspicion.