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Frequently Asked Questions
Book cover of Beautiful Souls
  1. Where can I obtain a copy of the book? The book, Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times, will be available in the on-campus bookstore.
  2. What happens if I don’t read the book? All incoming First-Year students are required to read the common reading selection. Since there is an academic requirement to have completed the book by the first week of school, failure to fulfill this requirement may result in the lowering of your grade in the FYS course.
  3. How was the book chosen? The entire Penn State Berks community was invited to submit their suggestions regarding the book for the coming academic year. From the suggested selections, five were identified as the most popular choices. The Common Reading Steering Committee condensed the initial suggestion list to the five final choices using the following criteria. The book should:
  • Act as a bridge between students and faculty
  • Contain themes for discussion which touch on many different topics
  • Appeal to young adults
  • Prompt inquiry, reflection, and discourse
  • Be available in paperback  
  • Be lively and engaging reading (highly readable, not too long)

The First Year Seminar instructors were then invited to make the final decision by choosing next year’s book via an online vote.