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Logo: American Democracy Project: Freshman Summer Reading Program

Introduction

Each freshman at SUNY College at Brockport participates in the Summer Reading Program. The purpose of this program is to help orient new students to the Brockport academic community by having a common reading experience with fellow classmates and faculty members. First-year students receive a copy of the book with support materials and additional information about the program in early July.

The summer reading project is a valued experience at SUNY Brockport and continues to be part of our involvement in the American Democracy Project for Civic Engagement, a national, multi-campus initiative that seeks to foster informed civic engagement in the United States. The project seeks to create a greater intellectual understanding and commitment to participate in the civic life of the United States. Students will be asked to react to the book during the Orientation weekend and throughout the semester. They will also take part in discussions, projects and lectures debating noteworthy themes generated by the book.

Summer 2005 Choice
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Hadden

From the Publisher

Photo: Book CoverChristopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher's mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon's choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.

For More Information

For additional questions about the summer reading, please call (585) 395-5346 or e-mail mesler@brockport.edu.