Summer Reading | FYS

Over the summer, each First-Year Seminar student is asked to read a text chosen by the FYS faculty the previous spring. We will mail the books to students free of charge; there is no need to purchase the book on your own. They are also yours to keep! The books are sent through the mail over the summer, so be on the lookout for a package from Pacific University!

While the books vary greatly in theme, genre and style from year to year, they all aim to engage students with literature that challenges their world views and introduces them to college level reading and ideas.

Fall 2020 Reading

This year’s summer text is Jennine Capo Crucet’s Make Your Home Among Strangers, a debut novel centered on a first generation college student who struggles with feelings of belonging. This is a wonderfully timed read for students transitioning away from home and onto a different campus culture. We’re excited for the personal reflection as well as campus-wide discussions this book will prompt in the fall.

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet

When Lizet-the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school-secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite make your home among strangers covercollege, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy-Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom-without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family, especially her mother. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today.

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, winner of the International Latino Book Award for Best Latino-themed Fiction 2016, Longlisted for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Named a best book of the season by Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook, Bustle, NBC Latino and Men's Journal