Riderwood Residents Participate in One Maryland One Book Project: Warren St. John’s Acclaimed Outcasts United

Riderwood residents are participating in this year’s One Maryland One Book project sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council, and in partnership with the Beltsville Branch of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. Residents will read this year’s selected book, Outcasts United: An American Town, A Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John and will share their insight on the book’s multi-layered themes at a substantive discussion on Monday, September 20 at their campus. This discussion will be led by Barbara Spears, the Branch Manager of the Beltsville Library.

Outcasts United is a critically-acclaimed nonfiction work by Warren St. John. It is the story of a soccer team of refugee boys from war zones in Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan called the "Fugees"; their coach, Luma Mufleh; and the town where they live–Clarkston, Georgia–a sleepy, southern town upended by refugee resettlement.

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The story is not only an inspiring tale of a small town becoming global, but also a story about resilience, the power of one person to make a difference and the challenge of creating community in a place where people seem to have little in common.

Warren St. John has written for the New York Observer, The New Yorker, Wiredand Slate, in addition to his work as a reporter for The New York Times.

Riderwood residents are known for their literary prowess. An Issues Discussion Group and a Short Story Discussion Group are among the resident-driven activities found at Riderwood, which is the nation’s largest continuing care retirement community. In addition, scores of residents write for their monthlyRiderwood Reporter newspaper and 600 of them enroll each year in classes at Prince George’s Community College.

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One Maryland One Book 2010 is coordinated by the Maryland Center for the Book, a program of the Maryland Humanities Council with funding in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, LSTA grant funds, through the Division of Library Development & Services, Maryland State Department of Education and the Comcast Foundation and in partnership with Enoch Pratt Free Library and Barnes & Noble.