GUEST WRITER ERMA APPLEBY RECOMMENDS I’M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT BY KIMBERLY JONES AND GILLY SEGAL
What would you do if a riot broke out right in front of you? Would you freeze, scream, hide, or run? For Lena and Campbell this situation throws them into a life-changing situation where the only goal is to survive.
I’m Not Dying with You Tonight places the reader into the situation where they may ask themselves, “What would I do?” Lena and Campbell represent two very different worlds. Lena is the high school student who is noted for her sense of style, her devoted boyfriend, and her well planned out future. Campbell, on the other hand, is the “newbie” at McPherson High School, who just wants to get through the school year at a new school.
Narrated in alternating chapters, Lena and Campbell recount the evening that should have been a routine high school football game. Managing the canteen for the event, both characters are expecting an evening of preparing hotdogs, pop, and snacks for the crowd. But, this game is not an ordinary event; it is a match against McPherson’s biggest rival, Jonesville. Tensions within the crowd heighten; customers waiting in line at the canteen become impatient; first a soft drink cup is thrown over the crowd, and then it all breaks loose.
Page after page, Jones and Segal take readers on a journey of survival. When the outbreak of violence expands to blockades throughout the city, both characters share a sense of fear: “…we have to get out of here. This is the most unsafe move I’ve ever made.”
From helicopters to SWAT members, this is certainly a page turner that is written for a variety of readers. Filled with wonderful mentor texts for vivid vocabulary, the authors have created a novel that makes the reader feel as if they are actually on the sidelines of all the action.
Erma Appleby is an English Language Arts teacher at Oromocto High School in Oromocto, New Brunswick. She enjoys the discussion that literature can ignite and the role that it plays in our lives.