The First-Year Book Program provides all incoming freshmen with a common intellectual experience to stimulate discussion, to promote critical thinking, and to develop a sense of community among first-year students, faculty, and staff.
Start Off the School Year With a Good Book
Throughout the fall semester, programs and events related to the book will be offered. The first event associated with the book will take place on Sunday, August 23, 2015, when the author of the book will be the keynote speaker at Freshman Convocation.
All incoming freshmen will receive a copy of the selection during Incept; students are expected to read the book before the start of their first semester. The book will also be covered in Engl 1101 English Composition and in GSU 1010 New Student Orientation, among other courses.
The goals of the First-Year Book Program are to:
- promote academic discourse and critical thinking
- provide an introduction to the expectations of higher education
- integrate an academic and social experience into the campus community
- raise awareness and tolerance of cultural likenesses and differences
- create a sense of community
Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother is based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography. This page-turner about the power of family is a popular text in classrooms and a touchstone for communities across the country to engage in meaningful discussions about this essential American subject.
Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. As Isabel Allende writes: “This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. If you are going to read only one nonfiction book this year, it has to be this one.”
About The Author:
Sonia Nazario has spent 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction, immigration.
Nazario has won numerous awards for her journalism, including the George Polk Award for Local Reporting in 1994, for “The Hunger Wars — Fighting for Food in Southern California.” “Orphans of Addiction” was a 1998 Pulitzer Prize finalist, and winner of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency PASS Award. Nazario also won the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley Special Recognition Award for her article “Sobering Facts” in 1999. She won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for her series “Enrique’s Journey,” first published in The Los Angeles Times in 2002. In 2012, Nazario was listed among the “40 Women Who Changed Media Business in the Past Forty Years” by Columbia Journalism Review.
Please join us in congratulating our 2016 Winners: Holly Shaw and Melody Stewart!
- The Ghost Map was selected as the Fall 2015 First-Year Book.
- March: Book I was selected as the Fall 2014 First-Year Book.
- Natasha Trethewey’s Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was selected as Fall 2013 First-Year Book.
- Wes Moore’s The Other Wes Moore; One Name, Two Fates was selected as Fall 2012 First-Year Book.
- Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was selected as Fall 2011 First-Year Book.
- Warren St. John’s Outcasts United was selected as the inaugural book for the program. (fall 2010)