First Year Summer Reading Program

First Year Summer Reading Program

Annual program for incoming students

All incoming students at Penn State New Kensington participate in the First Year Summer Reading Program.  Students are given a free copy of the book at NSO Day 1, then asked to read it over the summer and come prepared to discuss it at NSO Day 2 (Pride Day).  In addition to these book discussions, there is a colloquium event related to the book during the Fall semester.

The goals of the First Year Summer Reading Program are to:

  • encourage you to read and think critically. 
  • give you a taste of what skills will be required of you in college.
  • provide a shared experience for new students on the campus.
  • enhance a sense of community between students, faculty, and staff by giving us something in common to discuss.

The 2017 book selection is:

Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era, by Daniel J. Levitin

Critical thinking is at the heart of what you will learn in college, and this book provides an easy-to-read, entertaining look at some basic critical thinking skills. These skills will help you not just in your college courses, but in everyday life as you begin to critically analyze everything you hear and read, making you a more savvy and informed citizen. 

What do you need to do?

  • Read the book prior to NSO Day 2/Pride Day (August 16th, 2017).
  • Be prepared to talk about the book and its key points.
  • Come to Pride Day Orientation prepared to discuss the book and bring your copy with you!

Past reading selections include:

  • Flight 93: The Story, the Aftermath, and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11 by Tom McMillan (2016)
  • The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold (2015) (A Penn State Reads selection)
  • This I Believe, Life Lessons by Dan Gediman (2014)
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (2013)
  • Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks (2012)
  • My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah by Robin Wiszowaty  (2011)
  • Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland  (2010)
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch  (2009)
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi  (2008)
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (2007)
  • Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead by Tamara Draut (2006)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2005)

Future reading selections:

Have a suggestion for a future reading selection that you want to share with us?  Nominate a book for our next First Year Summer Reading Program!