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Salem State's First Year Reading Experience (FYRE) Program

The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henríquez

The First Year Experience (FYE) office is pleased to announce that Salem State’s First Year Reading Experience (FYRE) selection for the 2019-2020 academic year is The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez. 

The FYRE program connects new students to the university community through a shared reading experience, welcoming them to a culture that values the thoughtful discussion of ideas.

First-year students will receive the book free of charge at their summer orientation session. On opening day (the day before classes begin in the fall), first-year students meet with faculty, librarians, administrators, staff, and upper-class students for small group conversations about the selected book. Many professors also incorporate the book and its themes into first-year courses and events/speakers are planned throughout the entire academic year.

Past FYRE Selections

  • The Hate U Give (2018)
  • Bad Feminist (2017)
  • How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America (2016)
  • Spare Parts (2015)
  • I am Malala (2014)
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (2013)
  • The Leftovers (2012)
  • SuperFreakonomics (2011)
  • Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream (2010)
  • Listening is an Act of Love (2009)

To recommend a book to the selection committee, email the title and author to

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