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‘Make Your Home Among Strangers’ chosen for NIU’s 2017-2018 Common Reading Experience

April 18, 2017

“Make Your Home Among Strangers” by Jennine Capό Crucet has been chosen for NIU’s 2017-2018 Common Reading Experience (CRE).

Last year, over 70 percent of first-year students used the book in at least one of their courses. This year, the book will be required reading for first-year students in UNIV 101 (University Experience), UNIV 201 (Transfer Experience) and many of the First-Year Composition courses. The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs strongly recommends other college and departmental courses to consider incorporating the book or themes from the book into their course content.

To benefit and get involved with the CRE, getting a copy of the book is the first step. “Make Your Home Among Strangers” was recommended by a team of faculty, staff, community members and students from a group of approximately 20 titles, and is available to check out from First- and Second-Year Experience (Altgeld Hall 100).

Then, submit an existing or new idea for a program related to a theme from this year’s book. Those themes include social justice, access to quality education, socioeconomic status, first-generation student experiences, immigration reform, ethics, civic engagement, activism, diversity, inclusion, coping skills, identity, relationships, mentoring, familial obligations and independence.First- and Second-Year Experience will help coordinate and market your event.

The book follows the relatable story of a young woman, Lizet, who is also a first-generation immigrant and college student trying to make a successful transition into college. She is pulled between her life at college and the needs of those she loves. Lizet must manage a new environment and face decisions that change her life.

Kathryn Ma of the New York Times Sunday Book Review explains, “Being caught between two cultures is a usefully troubling condition for the writer intent on dramatizing the confusion, pain and humor of having what Crucet calls ‘double vision,’ and Crucet, the award-winning author of a story collection, delivers on all three. We are drawn in by Lizet’s bid for independence and the smart way in which Crucet uses the public custody battle [over a child immigrant from Cuba] to explore private family tensions.”

For more information contact Kelly Smith, director of First- and Second-Year Experience, at [email protected] or 815-753-0028.