The Maryland Humanities Council has selected Warren St. John's Outcasts United: An American Town, A Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference for this year's One Maryland One Book program. A statewide reading project, the program attempts to connect diverse groups through a common reading experience and related programming.
According to press materials, the Council's selection committee "overwhelmingly supported this choice," because the book "is a story of determination, kindness, caring, and overcoming obstacles. It is the story of hope and the quest for freedom and economic survival—that is why people come to America."
Outcasts United is about a small town soccer team comprised of refugees from various war zones around the globe. The players are from such far-flung spots as Sudan, Liberia, and Afghanistan, and their presence in Clarkson, Georgia brings up challenging issues for the locals.
"It's a book that I hope will inspire debate and conversation about how to grapple with cultural changes that are occurring in communities across the country, including in Maryland," said St. John. "I look forward to being part of that conversation."
A state-wide author tour is planned for the fall. I'll keep you posted on that.
In the meantime, get reading.