About the Program

Each summer, incoming ninth graders are asked to read the same text before the school year begins. The “common read” is part of a program intended to connect new students and prepare them for life at Exeter.

“The common read is one of the first collective projects for the 9th grade. Even though it is an activity completed while apart, students read with the knowledge that the text will be a source for collaboration and for learning with one another. It is designed to inspire a sense of community and to create common ground for discussion after they arrive to campus,” says Tyler Caldwell, an English instructor entering in his fifth year as coordinator of PEA’s ninth-grade program.

A highlight of the common read is a visit to campus by the author during fall term to meet with the Class of 2026, attend classes, deliver an evening lecture and host a Q&A.

The program is intended for Exeter ninth-graders, but everyone is encouraged to read and enjoy the books chosen as the common read.

This year’s Common Read selection is Gordo by Jaime Cortez.

Past Common Reads

World of Wonders

2021 Selection

The Poet X

2020 Selection

Prince of los Cocuyos

2019 Selection

Common Read Committee

  • Mr. Caldwell (English)
  • Dean Camilus (OMA)
  • Ms. Hurley (Health)
  • Ms. Langevin (Health)
  • Ms. Rohloff (Library)
  • Ms. Soucy (Health)
  • Ms. Waterman (Science)

Get In Touch

Phillips Exeter Academy

20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03885