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Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town Hardcover – September 11, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-In this young adult adaptation of Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference (Spiegel & Grau, 2009), St. John presents the remarkable, inspiring story of a persevering female coach, a soccer team of refugee boys, and the Georgia town that is their home. With conviction and skill, Jordanian Luma Mufleh established and coached three soccer teams known as the Fugees. Her players were haunted by memories of war-torn homelands and personal tragedies and were struggling to adjust to life in the United States. However, her high expectations and willingness to help families impacted her young players. Despite challenges to locate a practice field, minimal funding for uniforms and equipment, and zero fans on the sidelines, the Fugees practiced hard and demonstrated a team spirit that drew admiration from referees and even their competitors. Featuring pivotal soccer games and anecdotes about interactions between a coach and her players, tension among the boys, family responsibilities, and a town wrestling with its changing identity, St. John delivers a vivid, cohesive story about hope and determination. Profiles are enriched with background information on the conflicts that drove the players from their homes in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Respecting cultural differences, building a global community, and the importance of getting involved are powerful, motivating messages that will resonate with teen readers, not just soccer fans.-Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Christopher Award Winner

A Junior Library Guild Selection

An NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

"Respecting cultural differences, building a global community, and the importance of getting involved are powerful, motivating messages that will resonate with teen readers, not just soccer fans."--Starred Review, School Library Journal

"An uplifting underdog story that will appeal to readers interested in the immigrant experience and the surprising role sports can play in people's lives."--Kirkus Reviews

"Exciting youth soccer action blends with politics . . . filled with fast kicks, scrimmages, dribbles, crossses, corners, shots, and misses on the field that will grab kids, as will the harrowing stories of what the families fled from their continuing struggle."--Booklist

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 980L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 8.12.2012 edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741941
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Hyde on July 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Original book may be great. This is the "youth" edition, and as such, it lacks anything that I would consider compelling. It feels dumbed down in a way that YA books written for YA audiences aren't.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a good, quick read. My daughter read it for a book report and I read it with her just in case she needed help with her report after. She loved that it was a true story and that she could look up these people on the internet and see pictures of the team, etc. She is a soccer player and this story hit home for her.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Liked it a lot - gave a good picture of what refugees go through when moving to the US. It was one of my Book Club selections and the discussion was lively and enlightening as we have a few members were are not American born. If you take nothing else away from reading this, it is to be more patient and tolerant when interacting with someone whose English isn't as good as yours.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Purchased this copy for my little brother who was doing a report on a nonfiction book. I read the original story for a college class and knew he would love it but that it might be too much for him to read in a short time. I bought this copy and thought it did a great job of presenting itself to younger audiences.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The book showed that if you practice hard, playing is fun and vice versa. It also showed that people with different races, religion, traditions etc. Can play as a United team and learn to tolerate their differences. Great book for classrooms.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is filled with a bunch of small chapters. Each chapter is more of a self-contained little story explaining the background of a little boy, the head coach Luma, or the situations the team finds itself in. I like this as I could pick it up and read in 10 minute chunks. And sure enough, a day later I finished what turned out to be a very inspirational book about how soccer provided meaning for these little boys!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outcasts United was incredibly tedious to read. The book lacks dialogue and contrast within the storyline. Warren St. John was presented with the perfect opportunity to learn and write first hand accounts of what was going on in the countries from whence the children came but instead, every piece of info could have been learned from Wikipedia. My English professor hated the book so much he refused to keep reading it and had us do something else for the final paper.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What an inspirational and well-written story. I felt like I was transported into the lives of these incredibly resilient children
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