Three Books Every Incoming Freshman Should Read

For those of you who don’t know, I am studying Middle Grades Education in hopes of teaching middle school language arts. Reading has always been important to me. I’ve read nearly every book ever assigned to me, from Fahrenheit 451 to The Great Gatsby. But it wasn’t until college that I began reading books for myself—books written specifically for young adults.

Today I would like to share three books all incoming freshmen should read.

If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? by Kurt Vonnegut

I received this book as a gift from my sister upon high school graduation. Within a few days, I had read the entire thing. I recommend this book for quite a few reasons. First, the book is a compilation of college commencement speeches. As an incoming college student, the book is relatable, inspirational, and applicable. Second, author Kurt Vonnegut focuses on advice specifically for young adults ages 18-21. If This Isn’t Nice gave me perspective on what the next four years in college would look like for me.

The Complete Grimm’s Fairytales by Brothers Grimm

I read Grimm’s Fairytales for a 200 level English course I took my sophomore year, and boy do I wish I had read it sooner. Most of us grew up with the romanticized version of these fairytales. Reading the raw, original version of these stories allows the reader to dive into the real history of literature. Plus, they are simple incredible stories.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

In this book, Jeannette Walls delivers a moving, compelling anecdote on family love and determination.Walls reflects on her family life, and how she overcame her family’s struggles to reach success. The Glass Castle was assigned to me by my 12th grade English teacher in my final semester of high school. Let me tell you, it is worth reading. The Glass Castle is applicable for incoming freshmen simply because it focuses on overcoming adversity. All freshmen will go through a period of feeling lost or overwhelmed. When that time comes, pick up The Glass Castle and start reading.




Class of 2020
I am studying Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Sciences and Literacy in the College of Education. Although I now reside in Champaign, I am originally from Vernon Hills, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.

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