Penn State Reads is an initiative sponsored by Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs, the Office for Student Orientation & Transition Programs, and the University Libraries. It is designed to provide a shared experience among new first-year students, encourage intellectual engagement within and beyond the classroom, stimulate critical thinking, and foster a deeper connection to Penn State’s mission and core values. Students will receive a copy of the book at New Student Orientation,and they should read it prior to participating in Welcome Week activities. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of programming and discussions that will connect the themes of Americanah to the experiences and challenges facing college students today.
Americanah, by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie, is the 2014-15 Penn State Reads book. Americanah was selected because it provides a rich narrative and engages social themes such as race, identity, and globalization.It is also a love story. Adichie, in an interview with The Guardian, says
“I wanted to write an unapologetically, old-fashioned love story. But it is also about race and how we reinvent ourselves. It is about how, when we leave our home, we become another version of ourselves.”
Americanah was named one of The New York Times ten best books of the year and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Adichie is a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and splits her time between Nigeria and the United States. Adichie will be visiting University Park in October to discuss the book with students
Read a description of the summary and the reviews of Americanah
Learn about the first year essay contest that can enter you to win an Amazon gift card
With over 50 newspaper vending machines on campus, students can pick up the paper every weekday or read articles online through our new digital access. Of course, students who read newspapers know more about community, national, and world events, but recent research also shows gains in critical thinking, volunteerism, and civic engagement.