by: Trevor Stathatos
Based on a true story, Outcasts United is a novel written by Warren St. John, about Luma, a Jordanian woman who immigrated to America, coaches and raises refugees from many foreign countries, by teaching them the beautiful game of soccer, why teaching life lessons as they grow. Each of these boys on Luma's 3 soccer teams has overcome hardship in their life, from fleeing their country due to violence, tragic backgrounds of losing family members, to growing up in poverty, where many of these boys did not get enough to eat at times. As the story progresses, the underlying theme of the novel becomes evident as we see the impact Luma has on the Fugies (name of soccer team) lifes. The story is the quintessence of the underdogs working together as a team, to overcome the odds and hardships they faced.
This award-winning novel has been a source of discussion as people all around the world relate to this story. The struggle of being on your own, living without hope, and just needing a friend is all too real which is depicted brilliantly in this book. Luma shows the boys that no matter how tough it gets, by bonding together, and just keeping hope, you can overcome any odds. The importance of team is evident, from the boys coming together to stay motivated to win their crucial soccer game after Luma's ridiculous arrest, to Luma having to cut boys who played a significant role to the toxic environment depicted at the beginning of the novel.
As the story progresses, more of the refugees backgrounds are revealed. The devasting history of the players is bound to pull on your heart strings. Join the nation, as we cheer on thr Fugies, as the close games the Fugies ultimately won due to not giving up, will have you on the edge of your seat as the minutes tick by and the games get closer. The boys resilience ultimately proves too much as they win heart-wrenching games and prove the power of teamwork. Warren St. John's critically acclaimed point of view of this real life event that occurred in the 1990's, is inspirational, devasting, and everything in between.
The Washington Post has called this book "extraordinary...an uplifting tale celebrating the most old-fashioned of virtues; hard work, self-discipline, regard for others. Pick up a copy online at www.outcastsunited.com to enter for a drawing to get your book signed by Luma, and a few members of the Fugies!