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Summer Reading

Freshman and Freshman Honors Reading

The Freshmen Summer Reading letter contains complete information about the program, assignments, and reading selections. (*underlined portion is linked to a pdf of the letter)

Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family's summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu's secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu's generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu's soul mate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.  (Review adapted from Amazon.com)

lol…OMG! What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying by Matt Ivester
The ease with which digital content can be shared online, in addition to its many benefits, has created a host of problems for today's high school and college students. All too often, students are uploading, updating, posting and publishing without giving a second thought to who might see their content or how it might be perceived. lol…OMG! provides a cautionary look at the many ways that today's students are experiencing the unanticipated negative consequences of their digital decisions - from lost job opportunities and denied college and graduate school admissions to full-blown national scandals. It also examines how technology is allowing students to bully one another in new and disturbing ways, and why students are often crueler online than in person. By using real-life case studies and offering actionable strategies and best practices, this book empowers students to clean up and maintain a positive online presence, and to become responsible digital citizens. (Review adapted from Amazon.com)

Note:  This year's Notre Dame Reads book is Tattoos on the Heart by Fr. Greg Boyle. Fr. Greg has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program for twenty-five years in Los Angeles.  In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith. (Adapted from Amazon.com) As freshmen, you will read and discuss this book in Religious Studies while the rest of the students and faculty and staff will read the book over the summer.  The ND Reads program typically includes an author talk and community events to continue the discussion begun in the classroom setting.  You have dynamic conversations to look forward to next year.


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