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Freshmen, Transfer Students Engage with Common Reading Program Book

It’s the book that Providence College is reading this summer — The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Doubleday, 2003), the Freshman Common Reading Program selection for the Class of 2017 and transfer students.

The novel, written by Mark Haddon and set in England, is narrated by a 15-year-old boy with behavioral difficulties that resemble Asperger syndrome. Its title was inspired by a Sherlock Holmes story.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time won the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book Award, and the American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults Award.

Freshmen and transfer students received copies during New Student Orientation in June. Books also were made available for faculty and staff and can be borrowed from Phillips Memorial Library.

When the new students arrive on campus in late August, their orientation will include book discussions facilitated by faculty and staff. But they also have opportunities to engage in conversation about the book during the summer.

Students can win prizes in weekly trivia contests hosted on the Common Reading Program’s Facebook account. In addition, there’s an essay contest with a deadline of August 7. Essays will be judged by a committee of faculty, staff, and students.

It’s the third year that PC has selected a Common Reading book for campus conversation.

In 2011-2012, freshmen and transfer students read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). The author, Jonathan Safran Foer, spoke during Freshman Family Weekend in 2012.

Last year, the Common Reading book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown Publishers, 2010). Mrs. Lacks’ son, David “Sonny” Lacks, and granddaughter, Jeri Lacks Whye, spoke to the College community in the spring.

— Vicki-Ann Downing
 

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