In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”


My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Monday, October 22, 2012

EVERY DAY by David Levithan



copyright date: August 2012
primarily marketed for: young adults (8th grade and up)

Every once in a while I read a book so amazing that I am torn between the urge to keep the wonder of its story all to myself and the desire to share its goodness with all the world.  Every Day by David Levithan is just such a book. 

Becky Anderson, an owner of Anderson’s Bookshops said this is a book everyone should read.  She is right. 

Every Day is the story of ‘A.’ 

‘A’ wakes up each morning in a different person’s body.  ‘A’ has no gender, no race, no sexual orientation.  ‘A’ takes on the unique qualities of whatever body ‘A’ is inhabiting for the day. 

Being that ‘A’ shifts from body to body, it is nearly impossible to make connections.  Any connections made have the potential to create difficulties for the owner of the body in which the connection was made.  As a result, ‘A’ seems destined for a rather lonely existence.  ‘A’ is pretty much resigned to this fate. 

Until ‘A’ meets Rhiannon.  And falls in love. 

From that point on, ‘A’ focuses almost entirely on how to make the connection last beyond a single day, beyond a single body. 

I was lucky enough to meet David Levithan when he and John Green were touring to celebrate the release of their collaboration: Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  I was even luckier to meet David Levithan again just a few weeks ago at the Anderson’s Bookshops Young Adult Literature Conference.  There, he spoke about the thinking behind Every Day.

Levithan said he was working to answer to questions through writing this story:
1)   What would it be like to have no physical manifestation of gender or race, to have no inherent religion or sexual orientation?  What would it be like to purely be a self?
2)   Can love conquer all?  Is it possible to love someone who is constantly changing.

The thing that most amazed me about Every Day is that Levithan indeed answers these questions.  As I neared the end of the story, I was worried that he wouldn’t reach a resolution.  It seemed there weren’t enough pages left to reach a meaningful end. 

And then he does it.  He uncovers answers.  And they feel, well—they feel right.  This is one of the most satisfying endings ever.  Although I would not call it a feel-good ending, it is certainly an uplifting story.  It is a story about what it means to be a human.  It is a story about love.

4 comments:

  1. I must read this. I love his other books, and there is much talk about this one. How great that you got to meet him, too, Christy. Thanks for sharing about Every Day.

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  2. I can't wait to read this. It sounds just incredible. Thanks for sharing this!

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  3. I bought this book and won another copy, but still haven't been able to read it. This book is making the rounds of my students through word of mouth. I won't have to book talk it---I just want to read it.

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  4. What a great reveiw! I couldn't decide how I felt about 'A'. What a different type of storyline for the age old question; Can love conquer all? I want to know if there is a book 2...seems like the door is open at the end...did he ever say? Great pick for a powerful story!

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