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The First Year Seminar Program is pleased to announce that the 2024/2025 Common Read is Kacen Callender’s Felix Ever After.

Felix Ever After is a Young Adult novel about a Black transgender teen who struggles with issues of identity, belonging, and self-assurance as he moves into adulthood, written by a Black, queer and trans author. The book has received the Stonewall Honor Award to recognize its merit as a text relating to the LGBTQIA+ experience.

The mission of the common read program is to engage the Marist community in dialogues about challenging contemporary issues. Each year the Common Read committee, composed of faculty, staff, and students, makes a recommendation about a text that promotes interdisciplinary dialogues engaging with topics in diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice. This year’s Common Read theme is the LGBTQIA+ experience, a theme suggested over the years by many different members of the Marist community and enthusiastically embraced by the committee and the Provost and Dean of Faculty.

The committee considered readability, relatability, and interdisciplinarity when choosing this year’s Common Read, and we believe that this book provides the college community with a unique opportunity to engage in important contemporary dialogues about the LGBTQIA+ community, queer identity, and history. It lets students within the LGBTQIA+ community know that they are valued by Marist College and encourages students outside of this community to empathize with and understand a perspective that may be unfamiliar to them.

There are several ways for you to get a copy of Felix Ever After. It is currently available at the Marist Bookstore. Additionally, there is a library guide that details how to access the book through the library or get the book in an audio format.  

Felix Ever After will be a dynamic and engaging Common Read that will appeal widely to the Marist Community, generate important and necessary discussion about the LGBTQIA+ experience, and cultivate a culture of inclusion on campus. The book lends itself to meaningful engagement both inside and outside of the First Year Seminar classroom.


Historical List of Marist Common Read Books

2023-24 Robin Wall Kimmerer,
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
2022-23 Clint Smith,
How the Word is Passed 


Emmanuel Acho,
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man


Joshua Douglas,
Vote for Us: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting


Naomi Alderman,
The Power


Jonathan Starr,
It Takes a School


Reyna Grande,
The Distance Between Us


Wes Moore,
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates


Azar Nafisi,
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books


Steven Johnson,
The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic and How it Changed, Science, Cities, and the Modern World

2013-14 Rebecca Skloot,
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks