A former children's librarian and newspaper editor, Alissa Grosso is the author of the young adult novels Popular and Ferocity Summer. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and currently works as a sales consultant for a book distributor. Grosso grew up in New Jersey, where she graduated from Lenape Valley Regional High School, and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University. She now lives in the Philadelphia area.
Annie is the oldest. The sickly one who gave up on her own life so she could raise her sisters after their parents died. Gracie is the wild child. She wants a man so bad, she'll do anything it takes to get one. Barbara, the youngest, hates being constantly mistaken for her sisters. She wants nothing more than to finish senior year and get out of Shallow Pond—before she succumbs to her unwanted attraction to the new boy in town, Zach Faraday.
When Annie's enigmatic illness takes a turn for the worse, Barbara begins to search for the truth of her family's past. But Shallow Pond offers only lies and deceit. The one thing Barbara can trust is her halting connection to Zach—an unsettling bond that may be the answer to a mystery that doesn't want to be solved.
After receiving a tip about a soccer team composed of refugee children in Clarkston, Georgia, New York Times journalist Warren St. John headed down there to see the team in action. The inspiring game he saw convinced him that he needed to write about the team.
St. John relocated to Georgia from New York. He followed the team (the Fugees) during the 2006 season, and into the beginning of 2007. As part of his research, he became friends with the Fugees’ coach, Luma Mufleh, as well as a number of the players and their families.
St. John wrote three articles for the New York Times while conducting his research in Georgia, and later wrote Outcasts United. The book was optioned for film by Universal Studios. St. John’s published articles helped to inspire national support for the team, including much needed donations of athletic gear and a letter writing campaign that helped the team return to their practice field.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Alissa Grosso is a young adult novelist, a book sales representative and serves as the personal servant to three ungrateful cats and one needy dog. When she has free time, she usually spends it outside. She lives in New Jersey. More information can be found at her website alissagrosso.com.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
After a detailed description of the first Fugees game the author sees, he introduces readers to the people behind the team, beginning with their coach.
Luma Mufleh grew up in Jordan in a Westernized family whose business success granted them a life of privilege. She lived a lavish life; as a three year-old, she was given a brand new Mercedes. She went to American schools in Jordan and attended college in the United States.
A big inspiration in Luma’s life was Rhonda Brown, an American woman who had been Luma’s volleyball coach in Jordan. Luma did not at first like her coach’s tough style until she realized that it was actually helping to make her and her fellow teammates better players. Luma had a habit of joining young men in pickup games of soccer. Though her grandmother chastised her for this inappropriate behavior, she never told Luma’s father.
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