2008 Summer Reading Assignment: we are all the same
The 2008-2009 Common Summer Reading is "We Are All the Same" by Jim Wooten, an award-winning senior correspondent for ABC News and the recipient of a John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. His Robert F. Kennedy Book Award-winning book's subtitle is "A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love."
In "We Are All the Same," the reader is introduced to Nkosi Johnson, a Zulu, HIV-positive child with no hope for living, but whose life remains anything but hopeless. The reader also meets the indefatigable, white South African Gail Johnson who becomes Nkosi's foster mother. Johnson's persistent as an advocate for children like Nkosi helps draw international attention to discrimination and personalizes the apartheid struggle in their country.
Members of Catawba's Common Summer Reading Ad Hoc Selection Group recommended the book because it includes topics which may be addressed in first-year seminars, including cultural differences, heroism, vocation and helping, as well as political and social issues. The book also will dovetail with a second semester Consilium course on globalization which first-year students will take.
"We Are All the Same" will provide a starting point for Catawba's first-year students and their faculty. After completing the common summer reading, first-year students arrive on campus ready to participate in and contribute to intellectual dialog on campus. The book also provides a common thread for intellectual discussion throughout new students' first-year experience.