Igo Teens present a Novel Idea: “Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town” by Warren St. John

This is a true story about a refugee soccer team in suburban Atlanta. Exciting youth soccer action blends with politics in this story of refugee kids from across the world, including Kosovo, Mozambique, Liberia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Sudan, who find home in the small town of Clarkston, Georgia. It makes you wonder about multi-cultural community, as it is undergoing such an intense transition. While some of the residents of the community were completely closed to change, some people were resistant to change because they were never included in the discussion about how to bring refugees into their community. There, a tough volunteer coach, Luma Mufleh from Jordan, organizes three youth soccer teams that take on other local players and sometimes win. The account is filled with fast kicks, scrimmages, dribbles, crosses, corners, shots, and misses on the field that will grab kids, as will the harrowing stories of what the families fled from and their continuing struggle. Unlike the home teams, with their benches of supporters, the refugee teams have parents who are too busy holding multiple jobs to attend games. Fierce Mufleh is part of the drama as she takes on the local politicians who try to kick the refugees off their practice park, and she is just as fierce with players who do not follow the rules. They did become more open over time, but you had to wonder if it would have been a smoother transition if some of the refugees agencies coordinated/collaborated more with the community.   Click on the picture to place a hold on this book.  Enjoy!

Satvik,  15  Igo TLLC

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