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Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman (Hardcover)

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman By Kristen R. Lee Cover Image
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A striking debut novel about a college freshman grappling with the challenges of attending an elite university with a disturbing racist history, which may not be as distant as it seems.

"A searing debut.” –Entertainment Weekly

Savannah Howard thought everyone followed the same checklist to get into Wooddale University:
  • Take the hardest classes
  • Get perfect grades
  • Give up a social life to score a full ride to a top school
    But now that she’s on campus, it’s clear there’s a different rule book. Take student body president, campus royalty, and racist jerk Lucas Cunningham. It’s no secret money bought his acceptance letter. And he’s not the only one. Savannah tries to keep to head down, but when the statue of the university’s first Black president is vandalized, how can she look away? Someone has to put a stop to the injustice. But will telling the truth about Wooddale’s racist past cost Savannah her own future?
    First-time novelist Kristen R. Lee delivers a page-turning, thought-provoking story that exposes racism and hypocrisy on college campuses, and champions those who refuse to let it continue.

    About the Author

    Kristen R. Lee is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. After graduating from college, she began to write her experiences attending a predominantly white institution, which led to the first draft of Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman. She’s worked as a mentor for foster youth and has interned in a school setting, where she counseled middle-school-aged children. Writing stories that reflect often-unheard voices is what she strives to do. Learn more about Kristen at

    Praise For…

    ★ "Highly recommended. This is a fast-paced, plot-driven novel that tackles topics of racism, elitism, and intersections of those and other concerns of college freshman." —SLJ, starred review

    "A moving and authentic exploration of one young woman’s moral compass.” —Kirkus Reviews

    "With a world of sass and more than a hint of Black girl magic, Lee gives readers a quintessential coming-of-age novel that leaves us pining for more of Sav annah’s heroism.” Booklist

    "Lee’s thoughtful debut, a timely, quickly paced look at the trauma Black students often face in white institutions, brings a refreshingly vulnerable honesty to this narrative centering one Black collegiate transition.” —Publishers Weekly

    "A voice that will stick  with you long after you read the last word." -Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

    Scathing, honest, and impassioned.” - Adib Khorram, Award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay
    Raw, authentic, honest. This thought-provoking debut is equal parts call-out and call to action.” –J. Elle, New York Times bestselling author of Wings of Ebony

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780593309155
    ISBN-10: 0593309154
    Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
    Publication Date: February 1st, 2022
    Pages: 336
    Language: English