Joshua Davis' novel, a true story about succeeding in the face of prejudice and adversity, is Greenville Technical College's Common Read for the 2022-2023 academic year.
With the Fire on High
Why a Common Read?
The purpose of a Common Read is to help students explore their values and to increase awareness of diversity in our community. Common Reads can help students feel more engaged with their college, providing them with enriching social and academic experiences. They also offer students and faculty a common point to discuss and connect around their shared experiences.
First year students can expect discussion of theme and plot points from the Common Read to be featured in multiple courses. Additionally, college-wide events organized by GTC Campus Life, the GTC Library, and various other college departments will occur throughout the academic year, providing many opportunities for shared scholarship, camaraderie, and engagement for both students and faculty.
About the Book
In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.
But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan.
Joshua Davis's Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.
About the Author
Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired, cofounder of Epic magazine, and the author of The Underdog, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. In 2014, he was nominated for a National Magazine Award for feature writing. He has also written for The New Yorker and other periodicals, and his writing is anthologized in the 2012 edition of Best American Science and Nature Writing as well as in the 2006, 2007, and 2009 editions of Best Technology Writing. The movie Spare Parts is based on his reporting. He lives in San Francisco, California.