SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points, if you have not read the book.
Title: Outcasts United
Author: Warren St. John
Page Count: 307
Tone: Uplifting, educational
Questions composed by MPPL Staff
The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement: 2013 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.
1. Has the book Outcasts United given you a better understanding of the lives of refugees? Did it change your opinions on refugees? If so, how?
2. Does Outcasts United fall into your normal reading patterns? How is this book similar or different to what you normally read?
3. Do you normally read on a local or a global scale? What is the worth of reading of local topics? What is the worth of reading of global topics? Is one type of reading better than the other?
4. What were some of the hardships that refugees faced before coming to America? What about after they got here?
5. What preconceptions do you think refugees brought with them about America? How was the reality of their new country different than their expectations?
6. How did the members of the Fugees build community after coming to Clarkston?
7. Talk about Clarkston, Georgia before the refugee settlement. How did it change after the refugee settlement was established?
8. Why was Clarkston chosen for the refugee settlement?
9. What were the different reactions from residents about the settlement? Did anyone’s opinions of the refugee settlement change over time?
10. Were the refugees all one ethnicity and religion? How did varied ethnic and religious backgrounds affect the refugee community as a whole?
11. Who were the Somali Bantu? Why were residents wary of the Somali Bantu settling in Clarkston?
12. What are some of the struggles with identity that the refugees faced in Outcasts United? What are some of the struggles with identity that long-term Clarkston faced in Outcasts United?
13. Who is Luma? Why did she help the students and their families? What can we learn by her example?
14. Is Luma’s refugee experience similar to that of her players? How? How is it different?
15. Why do you think Luma’s younger players were able to better connect than her older players?
16. Did the educational policies in Clarkston help or hinder the members of the Fugees? What, if any, reforms would you suggest?
17. What kind of coach was Luma? Did her gender affect her coaching style? Is there a right or a wrong way to coach?
18. Was soccer “just a game” in Outcasts United?
19. What examples of “paying it forward” did you notice in Outcasts United?
20. What does diversity mean to you? Is it something you actively encourage in your reading, watching, listening, and living patterns?
21. Can one person make a significant difference in the world?
- Outcasts United website
- Random House lesson plans
- Warren St. John on NPR
- CBS coverage of Outcasts United
- Sports Illustrated article on Luma
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