Karen's Reviews > Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town

Outcasts United by Warren St. John
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's review
Aug 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: sociology, us-multicultural
Read in June, 2010

Warren St. John documents the efforts on coach Luma, a Jordanian immigrant and soccer coach. Coach Luma works with a group of boys 9 to 17, immigrants from an array of countries. Because Luma speaks Arabic, English and a little French, she is able to help these recent immigrants settle into their new environs. Not only does she coach soccer, she helps the parents (most of whom are single mothers) with the red tape of government programs, job applications and public school forms. It's also a story of how the long-time residents of Clarkston, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta) must find a way to respond to a massive influx of refugees. St. John does a good job of fleshing out the refugees' experience by going back in time and space to explain the traumatic events in each family's homeland that precipitated their immigration to the US. He also bring in research from sociologists, historians, and social workers to help explain various phenomena documented in the book, such "super-diversity." However, he doesn't get too academic or technical. He keeps the boys, the coach and their attitudes / feelings front and center.
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