Outcasts United by Warren St. John
A Refugee Team, an American Town

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Synopsis

BONUS: This edition contains a reader's guide.

The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town

Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’ s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.

Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives—and the lives of their families—in the face of a series of daunting challenges.

This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community—and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.
 

About Warren St. John

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Warren St. John is a reporter for The New York Times and the author of the national bestseller Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published April 14, 2009 by Spiegel & Grau. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Arts & Photography, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Outcasts United

Kirkus Reviews

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Mufleh had to overcome prejudice from wary Clarkston residents, who resented the thousands of foreigners placed in their midst by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Mar 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

Kirkus Reviews

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Adapted from an adult book of the same title, St. John tells the story of how Luma Mufleh formed a soccer team composed of young refugees from all over the world, rescued by the U.N.

Aug 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

The Guardian

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Maybe beleaguered Newcastle United should give her a call.) There is a lovely moment in Warren St John's excellent Outcasts United, the story of a football team for young refugees and the remarkable woman who brought them together, when Coach Luma lays down the law to the new recruits at the star...

Jun 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

Examiner

This is the story of how the community and the individual people dealt with diversity and this is the story of the abused struggling in 'The Land of the Free".

Apr 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

The Washington Post

You can read this book or wait for the movie, but the book is worth the effort.

Apr 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

Shelf Awareness

Marilyn Dahl, our book review editor, belongs to a writing group.

Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

Youth Services Book Review

She quit her soccer coaching job in Atlanta and moved to Clarkston to form and coach three soccer teams made up of the refugees.

Jan 29 2013 | Read Full Review of Outcasts United: A Refugee Te...

Reader Rating for Outcasts United
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