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If I Ever Get Out of Here

By Eric Gansworth


What do you do when you’re American Indian, so nobody in your class talks to you, dirt poor like snow-blowing-through-the-roof poor, small for your age so bullies like Evan Reiniger make you their punching bag, and a Beatles fan, meaning your favorite band broke up years ago?

Well, you make friends like George Haddonfield - a new kid in town, tell lies because what George doesn’t know about your house won’t hurt him. Tell truths ‘cause someone’s going to listen you about Evan, right? And make your own music since in the end your friends and family are all you have.

Acclaimed adult writer Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock’n’roll.

“The beauty of this novel lies in the powerful friendship between two young men who are so externally different and so internally similar. Wonderful, inspiring, and real.” - Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors.


Reviews and Awards

2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
2014 American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award, Young Adult Honor
2014 Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices 

⋆ “Gansworth, himself an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, explores the boys’ organic relationship with generosity and tenderness and unflinching clarity, sidestepping stereotypes to offer two genuine characters navigating the unlikely intersection of two fully realized worlds. All of the supporting characters… are carefully, beautifully drawn. And although Gansworth manages the weighty themes of racism and poverty with nuance and finesse, at its heart, this is a rare and freehearted portrait of true friendship.” - Booklist, starred review

“If I Ever Get Out of Here rings true with a sophisticated look at what it's like to be an outsider and what it takes to be a true friend…. More than just engaging, [it] is the sort of book that can spark all kinds of meaningful conversation.” - Los Angeles Times

“Lewis’ desire to move between cultures, and his difficulty doing so, will resonate with readers of many backgrounds…. Gansworth’s debut for young people is a worthy exploration of identity and friendship between middle school boys who live in different worlds.” - Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will appreciate the teenager’s sharp insights into being an outsider and Gansworth’s intimate knowledge of the prejudices and injustices inherent to Lewis’s life." - Publishers Weekly

"A heart-healing, mocs-on-the-ground story of music, family and friendship." - Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize and Rain Is Not My Indian Name



Summer 2013
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-545-41730-3
Price: $17.99/$19.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 368
Foreign Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Translation Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Rights Available? yes