MOUNT OLIVE – After months of meticulously screening over 40 books, A Home on the Field: How One Championship Soccer Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America has been designated as the University of Mount Olive freshmen read by the Common Reading Selection Committee. The book, written by Paul Cuadros, will be assigned to students in the ADV 100 class, a semester-long course required for all incoming UMO freshman.
“The common reading experience is an integral part of the freshman seminar class. The book serves as a springboard for discussions on many current and controversial topics, gives the incoming freshmen a shared reading experience, focuses on the importance of reading as part of an academic setting, forces them to confront cultural biases and local issues, and offers a cultural experience in the arts,” explained Jackie Hill, chair of the Common Reading Selection Committee and instruction librarian at UMO. “There will most definitely be classroom discussions and activities related to the themes of the book. Other activities might include a student panel discussion on the book and its themes, as well as a community service project.”
A Home on the Field presents the story of Cuadros’ move to Siler City, where he finds prejudice and resentment for the Latino workers who had been lured to North Carolina by the promise of jobs in the poultry processing industry. Cuadros’ mission to help the Hispanic families acclimate to rural NC life is a heart wrenching story of hope and determination. The book highlights the miraculous three-year journey of the Jordan-Matthews soccer team, made up primarily of Latino youth, playing soccer in a football town.
“A Home on the Field is about faith, loyalty, and trust and will be an inspiring read for next year’s freshmen class,” said Hill. “Since this book is set in Siler City, NC, students and instructors will be able to relate to the conflicts and issues that people in the book face because many of the same problems currently exist in many small towns in North Carolina.”
Community members, faculty, staff, and students will have a chance to meet the author of A Home on the Field during a lecture and book signing scheduled during the fall semester and announced at the start of the 2015-16 academic year.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.