Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Every Day

Levithan, David (Author)
Penguin Random House 2013. 326 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780307931894 (paperback)
9780307931887 (hardcover)
9780307975638 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Magic Realism

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, figurative language, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This thoughtful novel addresses notions of identity, continuity and attachment through the voice of A, a 16-year-old non-gendered protagonist, living a life through other people’s bodies, one day at a time: “I have learned how to observe … I am not blinded by the past or motivated by the future. I focus on the present, because that is where I’m destined to live.”

This fantastic scenario allows for the portrayal of a tremendous variety of teen characters—all shown from an inside perspective. Over the story, A occupies the lives of a suicidal girl, an oppressed homeschooler, one twin, then the other, a “hairy, metal fan” and more: “I see all the girls… how easy it would be to take them all apart. Is that a backpack Lauren has on? I guess she’s acting like she’s in third grade until her chest fills in. And, oh my God, why is Felicity wearing those socks? … I don’t want these thoughts anywhere near my mind.”

But love hits A hard when he can’t stay in the same body to woo Rhiannon—first met while he was inside her surly, self-absorbed boyfriend. Meticulous language makes A’s backstory and present crisis all-too-believable. Meeting another being like him—one who knows how to stay in a single body for longer periods of time—A is sorely tempted by the lure of lasting attachment. In the end, A decides to both consummate and relinquish his love, introducing Rhiannon to the caring young man he is inhabiting for the night: “I close my eyes. I say goodbye. I fall asleep.”

  •  

    One important premise of the novel is the need for A to adjust their strategy for dealing with different geographic and social contexts each day. Make connections to the various situations encountered by A.

  •  

    In small reading groups, explore the way adolescents are represented in the novel. Consider the settings they find themselves in, how they are characterized, and the way they are positioned, both in relation to each other and to adults.

  •  

    Following group discussions, explore the message(s) the novel is advancing in a written reflection or response. Consider the big ideas, what they might mean and why these messages matter.

  •  

    With a partner, discuss what life might be like for someone who wakes up in a different host body every day. Discuss and take note of any questions you have on the logistics of this. For example: Do the host individuals all live in the same city? Is it always a boy or a girl?

  •  

    After reading, review your logistics questions from activity #1. Were your questions answered? Discuss any remaining questions in a small group.

  •  Write a chapter describing what Rhiannon decided to do with Alexander, following her final day with A.
  •  Write a chapter describing what A decided to do with the rest of his/her life and why he/she had to run away.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Social Sciences