Summer reading program returns

For the ninth consecutive year, first-year students at Penn State Harrisburg are beginning their academic studies a few months in advance of the start of classes in August.

The college’s Summer Reading Program, involving all incoming first-year students, will again focus on encouraging early intellectual interaction among the freshmen.

This interaction continues as this year’s book selection, "A Thousand Splendid Suns," is included in their fall semester work in English composition and other courses.

The book, by Khaled Hosseini, traces the history of Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion of the late 1970s through the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s to the U.S. airstrikes against the Taliban and Al Quaeda in 2001. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965, Hosseini moved to the United States in 1980. His first literary effort, "The Kite Runner," published in 2005, was made into a successful movie.

Each student attending a summer session of the University’s First-Year Testing, Counseling and Advising Program will receive a complimentary copy of the book. A Web site has been established for student use which includes information on the author, Afghanistan’s history, an online reading guide, and questions to consider when reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

Throughout the fall semester, there will be events focusing on the book, including a film series. In past years, the summer reading program has featured "The Color of Water" by James McBride, "The Sunflower" by Simon Wiesenthal, "A Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War" by Louise Steinman, "Enrique’s Journey" by Sonia Nazario, and "Warriors Don’t Cry" by Melba Beals.

The six film series in the Olmsted Auditorium featuring recent productions from the Middle East, kicks off Sept. 1 with a showing of "Kandahar," an Iranian movie that follows an Afghani-Canadian woman’s journey into Afghanistan in search of her sister.

For more information, visit online at http://hbg.psu.edu/fys/summerreading.

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Last Updated July 14, 2009