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Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town (2009)

by Warren St. John

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8709719,974 (3.92)52
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)
  1. 00
    Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Both these books tell powerful and inspirational stories about women making drastic differences in the lives of others.
  2. 00
    A Home on the Field: How One Championship Soccer Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America by Paul Cuadros (Othemts)
  3. 00
    What Is the What by Dave Eggers (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Another great book about refugee life in America.

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» See also 52 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Outstanding storytelling in this nonfiction book for young readers. Does a great job weaving the life experiences of the boys together with Luma's life. I felt like the incident with Luma's arrest was left unresolved -- did she ever find out why she was pulled over? Was it just profiling? It certainly seemed to be. Altogether an incredibly inspiring story about an individual's ability to make a huge positive change in the world. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This book is fantastic. A great piece of journalism about immigration in America. A great story about young boys growing up. A great exploration about the greatest game on earth (soccer)! ( )
  nrfaris | Dec 23, 2021 |
This book documents the lives of a youth soccer team made up of refugees, their female coach, and the southern American town in the process of becoming a resettlement center. Epilogue, Contact Resources.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
Eye-opening story dealing with refugee life in America, told primarily by following a youth soccer team in Georgia. By following the soccer games of the boys, we're introduced to the hardships faced by the mix of refugee boys and their families from war torn nations around the world. Many of the boys have lost a father or other family member to war or terror in their former countries, and have to deal with being displaced, learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, often in an inhospitable environment. The volunteer soccer coach, also an immigrant, is an admirable character who overcomes unwelcoming elements of the town and its leaders, as well as her own difficult background to help the boys learn and adapt to their new life in America. Not all the boys succeed, but enough do to keep the book more uplifting than depressing.
( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Outcasts United, A Refuge Team, an American Town by Warren St. John (pp 300). This imminently readable book is about a Young Jordanian-American woman coach and members of several of her soccer teams comprised of recent immigrants, a polyglot of Iraqis, Burundians, Liberians, Bosnians, Somalis, Afghanis, and others. As newly relocated immigrants, these young kids were dealing with torn apart families, poverty, prejudice, assimilation, cultural differences, language barriers, and more challenges than most of us can even imagine. To a large extent the players and their families were not particularly welcome where they landed in American (outside Atlanta, though it could have been anywhere). However, they persevered, as did the town’s residents who begrudgingly and unevenly accepted them. The author did a good job of withholding judgement about the various supposed bad actors in the story, doing his best to explain different perspectives and reactions to uninvited change that tested the tolerance and understanding of many of the people in the community. Above all the story is inspiring, but it is also aggravating, frustrating, nauseating, and enervating, even across the chasm separating reality and the written word. The coach, Luma Mufleh, is an amazing woman who devoted her life to soccer and young people in desperate need of the sport, friendship, leadership, strict discipline, and structure she offered. Her efforts taxed her, her players, players’ families, the town as a whole, and many of the community’s members. Despite many successes by a variety of measures, there is no wonderful, fulfilling ending. Rather the struggle continues, and this tale underscores the need for all of us to do the extremely hard work of building our own communities, including all residents and constituencies. ( )
  wildh2o | Jul 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
The book is a sports story, a sociological study, a tale of global and local politics, and the story of a determined woman who became involved in the lives of her young charges.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Sarah Flowers
St. John begins with an inspiring description of a beautifully played game and then delves into the team's formation, but his storytelling takes on the methodical approach of a long series of newspaper articles that lack narrative flair and progression.
added by khuggard | editPublishers Weekly

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Warren St. Johnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reitsma, Jan WillemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On a cool spring afternoon at a soccer field in northern Georgia, two teams of teenage boys were going through their pregame warm-ups when the heavens began to shake.
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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.

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