Pirate Read: ECU's Common Read Program

The 2016-2017 Pirate Read Selection: Just Mercy
The Pirate Read Committee is pleased to announce Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stephenson as the 2016 Pirate Read Selection. Activities will be planned for 2016-2017.  We are also excited to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be on campus in November 2016.  A LibGuide has been created and is available at

The 2015-2016 Pirate Read Selection: Enrique's Journey
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, this astonishing story puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States. Now a beloved classic, this page-turner about the power of family is a popular text in classrooms and a touchstone for communities across the country to engage in meaningful discussions about this essential American subject.

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers.  Enrique eventually ends up in North Carolina before moving to Florida.  [Adapted from website]

Enrique’s Journey presents key issues that are applicable across disciplines.  Some suggested themes include:

  • Immigration
  • Family dynamics
  • Journalism
  • Law, ethics, and morality
  • Assimilation and acculturation
  • Social Justice
Visit Joyner Library's Guide to this year's Pirate Read selection for more information about Enrique's Journey and how you can be involved.

About the Pirate Read

A committee of faculty, staff and students selects the book and coordinates activities with departments within academic and student affairs.

Prior to the start of their first semester at East Carolina University, incoming students are expected to read a common book. The purposes of the summer read program are to:

  • Orient students to the academic community by encouraging intellectual dialogue and critical thinking.
  • Prepare students for the college-level environment.
  • Allow students to share a common reading experience with fellow classmates, faculty, and staff.
  • Enable students and faculty to discuss ideas from the book across the curriculum.

Past Pirate Read Selections

  • 2015 - Enrique's Journey (Sonio Nazario)
  • 2014 - The Other Wes Moore (Wes Moore)
  • 2013 - It Happened on the Way to War (Rye Barcott)
  • 2012 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
  • 2011 - Picking Cotton (Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo)
  • 2010 - The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 (Edited by Dave Eggers)
  • 2009 - Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin)
  • 2008 - My Freshman Year (Rebekah Nathan)

Pirate Read

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