Location: FIC CHR
Genre: Young Adult- Family- Coming of age
I love being outside, it is the biggest downfall of my job as a librarian- stuck inside. I love blue sky, and birds and sun and wind and adventures. I could never be agrophobic- ever!
"If I Fall, If I Die is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose, unforgettable characters, and a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age"
“Being brave is never easy. That's why it's good for you.”
― Michael Christie,
Diane and Will Cardiel are a mother and her young son living in Thunder Bay, Michigan. Diane is an intense agoraphobe, who started feeling afraid of the “Outside” when Will was just a baby. Family tragedies made her feel the need to protect Will from everything that could possibly happen. “Wordlessly she’d taught him that the Outside was built of danger, of slicing edges and crushing weights, of piercing needle-points and pummeling drop-offs, of an unrelenting potential for suffocation, electrocution, mayhem, and harm.” Will has never been outside and wears a helmet at all times.
One day Will ventures Outside and finds a whole new world. He meets a few friends like Marcus who tells him, “There’s nothing to be scared of out here,” and Jonah who teaches him how to skateboard and navigate the confusing outside world. As Will grows up and becomes more involved with the outside world he becomes braver while his mother becomes more scared. The alternating points of view make the story interesting.
The book deals with issues of mental health, relationships between mothers and sons, testing limits and becoming independent.
The boy stepped Outside, and he did not die.
He was not riddled with arrows, his hair did not spring into flame, and his breath did not crush his lungs like spent grocery bags. His eyeballs did not sizzle in their sockets, and his heart’s pistons did not seize. No barbarian lopped his head into a blood-soggy wicker basket, and no glinting ninja stars were zinged into his throat.
Actually, incredibly; nothing happened – no immolation, no bloodbath, no spontaneous asphyxiation, no tide of shivery