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Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town (edition 2012)

by Warren St. John

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685175,945 (3.58)None
Member:eembooks
Title:Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town
Authors:Warren St. John
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2012), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Non-Fiction Read
Rating:***1/2
Tags:YA, Refugees, 2012

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Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town by Warren St. John

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Just a few miles from Atlanta, the city of Clarkston became a settlement for families of refugees from war-torn countries. Soccer coach Luma Mufleh formed the Fugees, a soccer team consisting of boys from various countries and backgrounds. This inspiring book explores the array of challenges the team faced on and off the field and how determination prevailed.
  KilmerMSLibrary | May 20, 2014 |
A good book for understanding the mindset of refugee's. The subtitle seems to be somewhat of an overstatement, but "The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed A Town" could be accurately altered to "The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Touches Your Heart."
  Ron_Gilbert | Jun 22, 2013 |
Adaptation for young people about a soccer team made up refugee children in Georgia. Interesting, inspiring true story. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
This is a remarkable story of what one determined person can do to change what can be emotionally charged situation of integrating refugees into communties and very uncertain how to make such changes work. Somehow I had the young adult version of this story and while that is not a bad thing, the writing seemed too simplified for me. Think the audlt story would make for better reading. December 2012 ( )
  eembooks | Dec 7, 2012 |
Richie’s Picks: OUTCASTS UNITED: THE STORY OF A REFUGEE SOCCER TEAM THAT CHANGED A TOWN by Warren St. John, Delacorte, September 2012, 240p., ISBN: 978-0-385-74194-1

“There he was with his immigration face
Giving me a paper chase
But the sun was coming
Cos all at once he looked into my space
And stamped a number over my face
And he sent me running”
-- Graham Nash/David Crosby, “Immigration Man”

“Before tryouts began, the boys seemed puzzled. Where, they wondered, was the coach? Luma was right in front of them, but a woman soccer coach was a strange sight to young Africans, and to the young Muslim boys from Afghanistan and Iraq. During a shooting drill, Luma was teaching the boys how to strike the ball with the tops of their feet when she overheard a Sudanese boy talking to the others.
“’She’s a girl,’ he said. ‘She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.’
“Luma ordered him to stand in goal. She took off her shoes as the boy waited beneath the crossbar, rocking back and forth and growing more anxious by the moment. She asked for a ball, which she placed on the grass. Then, barefoot, as the team looked on, she blasted a shot directly at the boy, who dove out of the way as the ball rocketed into the net. Luma turned toward her team. ‘Anybody else?’ she asked.”

Jordanian-born Luma Mufleh was educated at the elite American Community School in Amman before traveling to the United States for a higher education and graduating from Smith College. Believing that a permanent life in the U.S. offered her far more possibilities that the second-class citizenship provided to women in her native land – where the civil code is based on patriarchal Islamic law – Luma defied her parents and stayed in America. Having thus been disowned, Luma was living near Atlanta, struggling with a failing eatery, and coaching a girls’ soccer team when she happened upon nearby Clarkston, a town that has been transformed over two decades by an influx of refugees from war zones around the world.

Happening upon an international cast of young men playing soccer in an apartment complex there in Clarkston, Luma was inspired to start and coach a soccer program for them. In OUTCASTS UNITED, an adaptation of his adult book about the Fugee team “family,” New York Times reporter Warren St. John moves back and forth between the individual family stories of the young immigrants who make up the Fugees soccer teams (three different age groups), and the chronicling of their coming together under Coach Luma Mufleh.

“After the trauma of war and relocation, many refugee kids had severe problems. Luma had to keep this in mind. She had learned from experience that she needed about a third of her players to be well-adjusted kids from stable families. They would set an example for the others. Another third of the team would be boys who were for the most part dependable even if they had a few problems at school or with other kids. The last third would be kids with real problems and unstable families. These were the boys who would require most of Luma’s energy and who would most likely cause fighting on the teams. They were also the boys who needed the Fugees the most.”

As we learn from the harrowing true stories in OUTCASTS UNITED, there are still plenty of people coming to America for the same reasons that so many of our ancestors landed here during past generations. And, as we come to see, Luma Mufleh is a bona fide American hero for the work she has done in Clarkston to change these young lives for the better.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com
BudNotBuddy@aol.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/ http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php ( )
  richiespicks | Sep 15, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385741944, Hardcover)

This young people's version of the adult bestseller, Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference, is a complex and inspirational story about the Fugees, a youth soccer team made up of diverse refugees from around the world, and their formidable female coach, Luma Mufleh. Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical southern town until it became a refugee resettlement center. The author explores how the community changed with the influx of refugees and how the dedication of Lumah Mufleh and the entire Fugees soccer team inspired an entire community.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

American-educated Jordanian Luma Mufleh founds a youth soccer team comprised of children from Liberia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkan states, and elsewhere in the refugee settlement town of Clarkston, Georgia, bringing the children together to discover their common bonds as they adjust to life in a new homeland.… (more)

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