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Author: Jones, Kimberly & Segal, Gilly
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Year Published: 2019
ISBN: 9781492678892
Grades: Grades 9 to 12

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

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Debut authors Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal offer a look at the urgent issue of racial justice and tensions in this timely novel. Two high school students, Lena, a sassy African American, and Campbell, a shy and naive Caucasion teen, tell their story in distinctly different voices in alternating chapters in this realistic drama about two girls who are forced to work together in order to survive. Mass chaos from a Friday night high school football game, born from violence and hate, leads to a racially charged fight that escalates into a riot in the community, spiralling out of control. The two protagonists befriend one another and must rely on each other to escape the frightful scene, working together to make it safely home. These characters are vulnerable and scared but also selfish, making unrealistic choices at times, creating a realistic depiction of teens whose worlds have collided. The storyline takes place over just a few hours, with short chapters and taut pacing reflecting the danger, tension and immediacy as the novel navigates through the tough issues of race, class, gender, community relations, police brutality, and romantic relationships. Some mild profanity and an abrupt shocking ending  make this novel a recommended read for mature young adult readers who will find this an excellent discussion starter about race relations.

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