Excerpt from If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

If I Survive You

by Jonathan Escoffery

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery X
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Sep 2022, 272 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Valerie Morales
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

A duppy, or ghost, or even a grown man, can be difficult to discipline, so you and your brother alone share the punishments.

* * *

In school, when your world geography project is announced and you're made to choose from a list of countries to present on, you choose Mongolia. It's not till another student chooses Jamaica that you consider the tiny island a worthy option.

Part of your project requires preparing a dish native to the country you've chosen. This is fourth grade. Your mothers do the cooking. When they meet one another on presentation day, eyes ringed dark from having wrestled with foreign recipes late into the night, they nod imperceptibly, too exhausted for pleasantries.

As your classmate begins her presentation on Jamaica, your mother sucks her teeth—a sound akin to industrial-strength Velcro ripping apart—drawing glances from several of the other parents. "Me could've brought in leftovers," she whispers, leaning in, "if only you chose home." .

* * *

On career day, your father stands in front of your class and identifies himself as a general contractor. The block letter alphabet strung along the edge of the blackboard arcs over his wavy black hair. Below the arch, he unspools a foot of measuring tape with the tip of his thumb, then releases it, causing the tape to zip back into its case. The sharp whiz emitted by the swift violence of the retracted tape gains your classmates' undivided awe. Your father repeats this action several times before deigning to speak. Your classmates hold their breath in anticipation.

As he explains that "when man need dem bat'room fix, is me get all di plaster an' PVC an' t'ing, an' is me make di worker man come nice up di place," a string of snickers breaks out from the classroom's back row.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery . Copyright © 2022 by Jonathan Escoffery . Excerpted by permission of MCD. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: After Sappho
    After Sappho
    by Selby Wynn Schwartz

    "Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time."
    —Sappho, fragment ...

  • Book Jacket: City Under One Roof
    City Under One Roof
    by Iris Yamashita
    When a disembodied arm and leg wash ashore in Point Mettier, Alaska, most residents assume they ...
  • Book Jacket: We Deserve Monuments
    We Deserve Monuments
    by Jas Hammonds
    Jas Hammonds' debut young adult novel We Deserve Monuments provides a fresh look at the coming-of-...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Mitford Affair
by Marie Benedict
An explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Ghost Season
    by Fatin Abbas

    A beautifully orchestrated debut connecting five people caught in the crosshairs of conflict on the Sudanese border.

  • Book Jacket

    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    Wade in the Water
    by Nyani Nkrumah

    A gripping debut novel of female power and vulnerability, race, and class set in a small Mississippi town in the early 1980s.


Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

From the moment I picked your book up...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.