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One Book, One San Diego 2010

Image of Outcasts United Cover

The selection for One Book, One San Diego 2010 is Outcasts United by Warren St. John. It is a story of a team of refugee boys, the remarkable woman who coaches them, and the town where they live, a once-sleepy southern hamlet that has been upended by the process of refugee resettlement.

Message from the Mayor

Photo of Mayor Sanders

I am pleased to announce the 2010 One Book, One San Diego selection is Outcasts United by Warren St. John. One Book, One San Diego is presented by KPBS and the San Diego Public Library.

This is the fourth year of the One Book, One San Diego program. I support this initiative because it brings together our community and encourages residents to join others in the shared experience of reading the same book. The program encourages residents to participate in related events throughout the year, discuss the ideas raised by one book and examine how these ideas connect with our daily lives.

Outcasts United is the story of a refugee soccer team, a remarkable woman coach and a small Southern town turned upside down by the process of refugee resettlement. In the 1990s, that town, Clarkston, Georgia, became a resettlement center for refugees and a modern-day Ellis Island for scores of families from war zones in Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to help keep Clarkston"s boys off the streets. These boys named themselves the "Fugees" -- short for refugees.

Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the "Fugees," their families and their charismatic coach as they struggle to build new lives in a fading town overwhelmed by change. Theirs is a story about resilience in the face of extraordinary hardship, the power of one person to make a difference and the daunting challenge of creating community in a place where people seem to have so little in common.

Please check the San Diego Public Library, and local book stores for copies of Outcasts United. Whether you participate in one of the organized community events listed on the Library's or KPBS' websites, plan a book discussion group in your home, or just share your thoughts with friends and neighbors, I encourage you to enjoy a great book and a great community conversation.

Jerry Sanders
City of San Diego

One Book, One San Diego Month: January 2010

Tony Young,  Deborah Barrow, Mayor Sanders and Tom Karlo

Photo: Councilmember Tony Young, Library Director Deborah Barrow, Mayor Jerry Sanders and Tom Karlo, KPBS General Manager.

View the San Diego City Council Resolution for One Book, One San Diego Month: January 2010 (PDF)

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