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Seton Hall University

Summer Reading

2020 Summer Reading Book: Grit

The picture is the cover of the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. There is a quote in the upper right hand corner of the picture that states Duckworth has found the secret to success with this book.

This year's book is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.

This will be the summer reading AND University Life textbook.

Summer Reading Essay Contest

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth says, "A fixed mindset about ability leads to pessimistic explanations of adversity, and that, in turn, leads to both giving up on challenges and avoiding them in the first place. In contrast, a growth mindset leads to optimistic ways of explaining adversity, and that, in turn leads to perseverance and seeking out new challenges that will ultimately make you even stronger. Growth mindset -> optimistic self-talk -> perseverance over adversity" (p.192).

Reflect on a moment in your life where you initially exhibited a fixed mindset that led to you wanting to give up on a challenge, but you ultimately transitioned to a growth mindset and decided to not give up. How did using a growth mindset motivate you to not give up? Was there a person or personal anecdote that encouraged you to keep moving forward? How had changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset change not only the completion of your challenge, but also the way you will approach the obstacles you will face in college?

Respond in an essay of 2-3 typed pages (please use double spacing and 12-point font). All quotes of paraphrased material from the text must be cited with page numbers. 


Submit your entry by Friday, August 14, 2020. All submissions should be saved with your first and last name on the top of the essay and an attached Microsoft Word document. E-mail your essays to

Prizes Include:

  • One First Place winner will receive a $400.00 gift card to the Seton Hall Bookstore
  • Two Honorable Mention winner will receive a $100.00 gift card to the Seton Hall Bookstore

Summer Reading Program

Seton Hall University's first year students begin their common learning experience in the summer before their first-year when they participate in the Summer Reading Program. Since 2003, incoming first-year students have been required to read a text that is selected for its ability to generate thoughtful discussion. The nominated text is then discussed in all University Life classes. The Summer Reading Program not only introduces students to academic life at SHU but also fosters student engagement. 

Previous Selections:

  • 2019: Educated by Tara Westover
  • 2018: Coming of Age at the End Of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet by Julie Dunlap and Susan Cohen
  • 2017: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • 2016: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  • 2015: The Ledge by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan
  • 2014: Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory
  • 2013: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • 2012: This I Believe
  • 2011: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Jennifer Skloot
  • 2010: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
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