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 classesGet perfect gradesGive 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.
February 1, 2022
14 and up
Grade 9 & Up
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 kristenleebooks.com.
★ "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