Common Reading Experience

The Book of Unknown Americans CoverThe Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez has been selected as UNC Charlotte’s Common Reading Experience text for Fall 2017.  The book tells the story of a boy and girl who fall in love, their families’ hopes as immigrants in America, and the community of men and women from all over Central and Latin America that surrounds them in their apartment building in Delaware. The Common Reading selection committee, chaired by Dr. Gregory Weeks, invites you to engage with this novel’s rich, resonant account of what it means to be “American.”  Books are available in the campus bookstore

The Common Reading Experience at UNC Charlotte is designed to provide a shared academic experience to assist first-year students in their transition to UNC Charlotte. This program offers unique opportunities for self-reflection, critical thinking, student interaction, and understanding of diverse perspectives. Adoption of the common reading is especially encouraged in first year seminars, first year writing, and general education courses, though any faculty interested in using the text in their teaching is welcome.

Note to Faculty:  If you are interested in considering this text for adoption in your Fall 2017 courses, please contact Carla Eastis at so we can send you a review copy of the book and include you on announcements related to our instructors workshop, the author visit, and other campus events of the Common Reading.

Former Common Reading Experience Selections

2016 Find Me Unafraid, by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner
2015 The Postmortalby Drew Magary
2014 The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers
2013 Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World, by Doc Hendley
2012 Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference, by Warren St. John
2011 How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America, by Moustafa Bayoumi
2010 The Blue Sweater, by Jacqueline Novogratz
2009 Listening is an Act of Love, by Dave Isay
2008 Enrique's Journey, by Sonia Nazario
2007 The Color of Water, by James McBride