Common Reading Program

Common Reading Program

A Girl Named Nina

by Norma Tamayo

2017-2018 Common Reading: A Girl Named Nina (book cover)

A Girl Named Nina

Image: Penn State

Based on a true story, A Girl Named Nina paints a vivid portrait of life in 1960s Brooklyn. Nina grows up in a tenement with Puerto Rican parents who came to America seeking a better life. Her father adores and protects her, teaches her to read, and encourages the many gifts he sees within her. Her mother is nurturing in her own way, as she struggles quietly with her own difficult past. Keenly aware of her surroundings from a very young age, Nina learns about the joys of childhood from a fourth-floor windowsill in her parents' apartment. Still too young to jump rope and play stick ball with children on the busy street below, she witnesses life from within the halls of her building-including physical and sexual abuse-but tells no one what she has seen. For Nina, the joys of coming of age are tempered with life's many harsh realities: her parents' separation, physical abuse, a friend's drug use, her best friend's murder, and the poverty that surrounds them all. Yet her spirit remains undaunted. Nina will not abandon her dream-her lifelong desire to become a doctor and rise above the hardships she has known, so that she can help guide others to a brighter future. (Amazon)


The Common Reading selection should be read by all incoming baccalaureate students prior to Orientation at the beginning of the fall semester.
 

The purpose of the Common Reading is:
  • to provide all First-Year students with an enjoyable and positive reading experience
  • to reinforce the message that reading is an integral part of the college experience
  • to foster a sense of community among our first-year students. 

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) course will include academic expectations based on the content of the Common Reading selection. 

2017-2018 Common Reading: A Girl Named Nina

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