The beautiful game of soccer becomes a kind of metaphor for the competition for resources, for respect, for the right to self-determination, in this ensemble-cast book. Cheap rents and settlement services agencies made Clarkston a destination for new waves of huddled masses, but not everyone is comfortable with the new arrivals. Luma, a dynamic Jordanian woman (with her own issues), takes on the coaching of the refugee children surrounding her. She inspires, cajoles, and pushes these kids to better themselves through education and the discipline required for successful team sports. A very enjoyable read about a small Georgia town that ends up as the melting pot on low boil.
True story about a young woman from an affluent Jordanian family who starts a free soccer program for refugee youth in an Atlanta community that is rapidly being transformed by immigration. Touches on fear of change, challenges of coming to a new country, living in poverty, and the importance of competitive sports for youth who lack other positive outlets. The author is a reporter for The New York Times and can tell a good story.
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