Contributed by: Madison Gleissner, Image Impact International Newsletter Editor
Image Impact International has curated the below reading list with First Generation students in mind. These picks encourage readers to explore their identities and what makes them both distinctive from and similar to others.
In celebration of Reading Awareness Month, here are five titles to add your library (and to share with others).
1. Heartland – A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh
In Sarah Smarsh’s smart and insightful New York Times bestselling memoir, she reflects on her life as a young girl growing up poor in rural Kansas and what she learns after leaving the heartland of America.
“Heartland.” Simon & Schuster, Scribner, www.simonandschuster.com/books/Heartland/Sarah-Smarsh/9781501133091
2. Those Working Sundays: Female Academics and Their Working-Class Parents, Edited by Kathleen A. Welsch
This collection of memoirs – recommended for young men and women alike – forces readers to consider the influence parents have on a student’s academic life.
“Those Winter Sundays: Female Academics and Their Working-Class Parents by Kathleen A. Welsch.” Goodreads, Goodreads, 1 Dec. 2004, www.goodreads.com/book/show/4704299-those-winter-sundays
3. How to Be a Chicana Role Model, by Michele Serros
Michele Serros explores her identity as she navigates through the challenges of living between two cultures.
“How to Be a Chicana Role Model.” NPR, NPR, 1 Jan. 2010, www.npr.org/books/titles/142314341/how-to-be-a-chicana-role-model.
4. A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League, by Ron Suskind
Ron Suskind invites readers to follow protagonist Cedric Jennings through his last two years of high school – located in one of Washington DC’s most dangerous neighborhoods – and into a rough first year at Brown University.
“A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League by Ron Suskind.” Goodreads, Goodreads, 4 May 1999, www.goodreads.com/book/show/69559.A_Hope_in_the_Unseen
5. Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee
Min Jin Han is a Korean-American Princeton alumni living in Manhattan and struggling to maintain her Korean identity and afford her new, expensive habits in a “world of haves and have-nots.”
“Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee.” Goodreads, Goodreads, 2 July 2007, www.goodreads.com/book/show/709734.Free_Food_for_Millionaires
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