Academic First Year Experiences

Every Day by David Levithan: Resources for Faculty and Staff

Book cover shows figures tumbling through a partly-cloudy sky.Every Day is CSUN's Freshman Common Reading for 2015-2016. The book is a work of fiction and tells the story of a character named A who awakens each morning in the body of a different person. Here's how Levithan describes the book:

At the start of the story, A is sixteen, and wakes up in the body of Justin, who’s never really treated his girlfriend, Rhiannon, that well. When A falls for Rhiannon, it suddenly changes the stakes of A’s story – and A’s life. When I started writing Every Day, there were two questions I wanted to answer – first, what would it be like to be a person who grew up without gender, race, sexual orientation, parents, friends, and all of the other things we usually classify ourselves by, and, second, what would it be like to be in love with someone who changed every day – would it be possible? I wrote the book to figure out what my answers were.  (

CSUN faculty and staff who would like a free copy of the book should email Cheryl Spector and include their campus address (with mail code), along with a promise that they will talk about the book, however briefly, with at least one new CSUN freshman in fall 2015.  

Conversation starters:

  • "Have you read Every Day yet?" Or:
  • "Will you be going to Freshman Convocation? I hear the author will be the keynote speaker." Or:
  • "I loved that book. My favorite character was [insert name here] because [insert reason here]."  

You get the drift....but for additional ideas, watch this YouTube video produced by a team at CSUN's Office of Student Involvement and Development:  CSUN Freshmen Tips (FCR).  

 Resources by category: click the circled + sign to expand each listed item below.


Teaching EVERY DAY: resources for the classroom from spring 2015 discussion group leaders

David Levithan (and some of his other works) on the web

Another Day, Levithan's sequel to Every Day, centers on the character of Rhiannon and is told from her viewpoint. It was published on Aug. 25, 2015. Entertainment Weekly has posted an excerpt from the new book (be prepared to scroll down to find it).

Levithan's website:

Levithan discusses and reads from Every Day (YouTube video, 6 minutes; not captioned)

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan. 2011.  (KCRW's Bookworm recorded an interview with Levithan about this book.)

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan. 2004.  (Available in Oviatt Library.)

Twitter: Levithan's Twitter account, which both supports and extends his book The Lover's Dictionary (2011): "THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY is the story of a relationship told in the form of dictionary entries. Please buy the book from a local store; this is the unabridgement."

Publishers Weekly Review of The Realm of Possibility, Levithan's 2004 project--essentially a novel made up of poems, each reflecting the life of a different teen.  A required text in several sections of Stretch Composition in recent years.

CSUN experts

Kent Baxter is a professor in the English Department who has written extensively on young adult (YA) literature. (His materials are posted on this page under the heading "Teaching EVERY DAY: Resources for the Classroom from Spring 2015 Discussion Leaders."

Jackie Stallcup's publications focus on children's literature, running the gamut from children's picture books to Gulliver's Travels. She is a professor and chair of the English Department.

David Wakefield is professor and chair of the Department of Child & Adolescent Development.  His professional expertise revolves around understanding the ways children and teens think about their ethnic and cultural group membership and how this impacts their academic engagement, their personal & professional goals, and their attitudes towards people from ethnic & cultural groups other than their own. 

About the book: reviews and more

Bodies and Soul. Frank Bruni, New York Times Sunday book review. 23 Aug 2012.

In Defense of YA Lit by Gretchen Kaser. Public Libraries Online. 11 July 2014. Web.

Love's Tenacity Subject of CSUN 2015-2016 Freshman Common Reading Selection. Michele Zamora, CSUN Today. 12 Mar 2015.

Northern Arizona University Reads Every Day (2013).  Includes a short video with David Levithan talking and reading from the book.

Not Just for Kids: Every Day has Heart and Soul. Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times book review. 1 Sep 2012.

Research and scholarship

Tulsa Studies in Women's LiteratureCall for papers for a special issue on Women, Girls, and Young Adult Literature. Email submission deadline: 1 Oct 2015.

Kent Baxter's "Presentation Quotes and Questions" (.docx) offers four foundational contexts for considering Every Day as 

  1. a coming of age story
  2. a Bildungsroman ("novel of formation")
  3. a postmodern novel of adolescence
  4. a story of individuation

Further reading: if you liked EVERY DAY, you might also like:

And on the big and small screens, these works:

What other books were nominated?

Posters: cover art for the book designed by CSUN students

Students in Professor Laurel Long's illustration class designed posters for the book. Seven designs were selected for campus-wide use.  You can see them at



Related reading

Converse unveils a revamp of the classic Chuck Taylors. Marketplace Business 24 July 2015. Web. 25 July 2015.