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Common Reading

Common Reading Program

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education A​nd Was Shot by the Taliban

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, a​ memoir by the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been selected as the 2016-17 Common Reading book.​​​ ​​

About I Am Malala 

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was 15, she​ almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.​

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At 16, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.​

About Malala Yousafzai 

Malala Yousafzai, the educational campaigner from Swat Valley, Pakistan, came to public attention by writing for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. Using the pen name Gul Makai, she often spoke abou​t her family's fight for girls' education in her community.

In October 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the head as she was returning from school on a bus. She miraculously survived and continues her campaign for ​education. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, becoming the youngest-ever recipient at just 17 years of age. She was also honored with the National Youth Peace Prize in Pakistan in 2011 and the International Children's Peace Prize in 2013, and she was short-listed for Time magazine's Person of the Year. Malala continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund, a non-profit organization investing in community-led programs and supporting education advocates around the world.​

Co-author Christina Lamb is one of the world’s leading foreign correspondents. She has reported on Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1987. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, she is the author of five books and has won a string of awards, including Britain’s Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times as well as the Prix Bayeux, Europe’s most prestigious award for war correspondents. She currently works for the Sunday Times and lives in London and Portugal with her husband and son.​

(Information about the book and authors courtesy of Little, Brown and Company)

Essay Contest

All PC first-year and transfer students were invited to submit an original 650-775 word essay in the 2016 Common Reading Essay Contest. Essays were evaluated on the basis of clarity of purpose; organization; engagement with major themes; originality; supporting eviden​ce; and mechanics. ​​

The winners were: 

 Social Media

PC Common Reading Facebook PageThe Providenc​e College Common Reading Program now has a Facebook page. "Like" the page to learn more ab​out the program and to receive updates and event listings.​

TwitterAlso, you can follow the Common Reading Program on Twitter by going to @friarbook. ​

​2017-18 Common Reading: Spare Parts

Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream​ has been chosen as the ​2017-18 Common Reading Program selection. 

spare-parts-cover.jpgAbout the Book:

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Com​petition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much — but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn't pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition — and yet, against all odds . . . they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story — which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement — will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan.

Joshua Davis's Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.​

(Information courtesy of Macmillan)

 Bag & Clothing Drive

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 I Am Malala Events

malala-hoh.jpgThe following are events that have been tied to this year's Common ​Reading selection, I Am Malala:​​

  • An Evening with Malala Yousafzai at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center

  • Dinner and Discussion with SCE Dean Janet Castleman​

  • Feinstein Institute Hall of Heroes Induction Ceremony 

  • ​New Student Family Weekend: President’s Opening Remar​ks & Keynote Address by Shiza Shahid

  • He Named Me Malala: Film Screening, Dinner & Discussion​


 Common Reading History

The Common Reading Program at Providence College was established in 2010 with the goal of extending student perspectives beyond the typical PC educational and cultural experience. Using a common text that is read by all incoming freshman and transfer students, the Common Reading Program connects the campus community by encouraging intellectual exchange on a specific theme. ​

 Program Objectives

​​The Common Reading Program is expected:

  • To strengthen the academic community and create opportunities for intellectual engagement and depth in learning through carefully selected common readings that pose multiple or differing perspectives and questions, followed by theme-oriented academic and co-curricular activities throughout the year;
  • To establish an intellectually stimulating environment that is both informal and structured, setting a tone for intellectual engagement among our new students;
  • To create a more academic focus to New Student Orientation; and
  • ​To provide opportunities for an enhanced Academic Convocation that includes meaningful ways for the entire College community, including students, faculty, and staff, to participate in the program​
  • Common Reading Program Steering Committee​