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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience
Street scene in Mumbai

Summer Reading

To Skidmore's Class of 2016,

Welcome to the Skidmore First Year Experience. By now, we hope you're immersed in and enjoying Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers. This is a brief note of introduction from the three faculty members who selected Boo's book as your summer reading. We are, collectively, professors of Psychology, Social Work, and English; and, despite our different backgrounds and training, we agreed that this is an important book that raises compelling and challenging questions that will provide the basis for some spirited discussion among us.  As you read this book, think about the definition of happiness, the power of hope, and the problematic nature of progress. We look forward to talking with you about the book's protagonist Abdul, the multiple meanings of the title, your reactions to the author's note, and Boo's representation of urban life, the family, identity, work, and government.

Google map, showing the location of MumbaiThis website is a way of fostering discussion about this book within our community—even before you arrive on campus in August.  The site will be updated frequently, so keep checking back in.  And, as you read, formulate your own thoughts about the book; discuss them with your families and friends, as we are doing ourselves; and, then, bring your thoughts to campus when you move to Saratoga in a few weeks to begin your college careers.

Professors Barbara Black, Pat Oles, Sheldon Solomon

'Summer Reading' website created and maintained by Jenna Postler '13.

Books for the entire FYE faculty and first year class have been provided through the generous donation of Jim and Sue Towne in special recognition of Skidmore's second president Henry T. Moore.