A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The characters have realistic, respectful discussions about racial issues affecting their community. During these conversations, the authors introduce current events without being heavy-handed.
A true friend is a person who has your back. True friends can come in surprising packages.
Positive Role Models
The book includes sensitive, nuanced portraits of types of people who are often racially stereotyped: financially struggling white people and members of poor, black communities who have what are usually called "middle-class values." It also shows caring, involved men heading families -- one black grandfather and one white white father.
Violence & Scariness
The story takes place while there's rioting and lotting in the streets. There's talk of a shooting that's happened, and a scene where one friend threatens another with a gun. A teen boy gets slammed to the ground and beaten by the police. There's nothing gratuitous or too graphic.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's one kiss and a passage where a girl has sexy but not explicit or graphic fantasies about kissing and touching her boyfriend.
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Very infrequent, mild profanity: "Damn" and "dumbass."
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Products & Purchases
A few minor mentions of brands, such as people describing the preferences in cellphones and mentions of large chain stores in the city.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I'm Not Dying With You Tonight, by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones, is about two high school girls in Atlanta, one black and one white, who must depend on their wits and each other to make it home after fights break out at their school football game and rioting and looting break out in the streets. The girls don't start out as friends, and they struggle to understand each other across the same racial divide that's causing all the violence. The bulk of the story takes place during a riot. There's talk of a shooting that's happened, and a scene where one friend threatens another with a gun. A teen boy gets slammed to the ground and beaten by the police; there's nothing gratuitous or too graphic. There's very infrequent, mild profanity: "Damn" and "dumbass." There is one kiss and a passage where a girl has sexy but not explicit or graphic fantasies about kissing and touching her boyfriend.
Is It Any Good?
This is a wonderfully sensitive portrayal of the intense relationships that can develop between teen girls. Debut authors Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones made the masterful choice to make I'm Not Dying With You Tonight first and foremost a deep story about the evolution of a friendship. The plot and setting cover racial misunderstandings, divorce, financial problems, and the rollercoaster of teen romance. However, the heart of the book is the way two strong girls bring out the best in each other when the world crashes down around them, and boyfriends, parents, teachers, and the police can't, won't, or just don't help.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books That Promote Diversity and Inclusion
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