Nominated by:

Cape Breton Regional Library, Sydney, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

McClelland & Stewart, Canada

If I Fall, If I Die

Michael Christie      

2017 Longlist

The boy stepped Outside, and he did not die. Will has never been Outside, at least not since he can remember. For most of his young life he has lived happily – and safely – Inside his small house with his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who panics at the thought of opening the front door. But Will’s curiosity can’t be contained. Clad in a hockey helmet to protect himself from unknown dangers, he finally ventures Outside – and braces himself for disaster. What he finds instead will change everything.

Will embraces his newfound freedom and soon befriends Jonah, an artistic loner who introduces him to the high-flying thrills of skateboarding. But life Outside quickly grows complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will is pulled further away from the confines of his closed-off world and thrust headfirst into the throes of early adulthood and the criminal underbelly of city life. All the while his mother must grapple with her greatest fear: will she be brave enough to save her son?

A story about family and friendship, overcoming our fears, and learning when to protect the ones we love and when to let them fall.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Michael Christie received an MFA from the University of British Columbia and is a former professional skateboarder. His first book, The Beggar’s Garden, was a finalist for a number of major Canadian prizes and the winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award. If I Fall, If I Die, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, won of the Northern Lit Award, and was selected as a New York Times Editors Choice. He lives on Galiano Island with his wife and two sons.

Librarian’s Comments

The story of an agoraphobic mother and of her son who begins to explore the world outside their home. A rich examination of family and of overcoming fear.

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