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If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor is the eighteenth entry in Scholastic's Dear Canada series. Written by Jean Little, it is her third book for the series. It was published in March 2007 and was followed by Perry Nodelman's Not a Nickel to Spare. The book was released in French in June 2008.


"This story is dedicated to Sandra Bogart Johnston, the editor of the Dear Canada books, who talked me into writing one and took me safely through the process–even making it fun–with much love from Victoria, Eliza, Fee and me."

Book description[]

"Thursday, October 24, 1918
I can hardly bear to look at Fanny. She is grey and her breath rasps and gurgles and wheezes. She has lost pounds. Her face is all hollow and a dark colour. A bluish grey. That is one of the symptoms of this Flu, Aunt told us. Nobody is saying a word, but we all know. So many have died, but not my Fan. I will not leave her no matter what anyone says.
I cannot sit still unless I have something to do. Mostly I hold onto Fanny's hand, but then she grows so restless and pushes me away. Whenever anyone comes near, though, she reaches for me again and clings for dear life. I feel as though I am made of glass and may fly apart into little sharp slivers.

"Le 24 octobre 1918
J'ai du mal à regarder Fanny. Elle fait toutes sortes de bruits en respirant. Elle a perdu beaucoup de poids. Elle est grise, d'un gris qui tire sur le bleu, et ses traits sont creusés. C'est un des symptômes de cette grippe, a dit Tatie. Personne n'en parle, mais nous le savons tous. Tant de gens en sont déjà morts! Mais pas ma Fanny! Je ne la quitterai pas une seule, seconde, personne ne pourra m'en empêcher.
Plus tard
Oh, Jane! Je t'écris parce que je ne suis pas capable de rester assise tranquille, à ne rien faire. La plupart du temps, je tiens les mains de Fanny, mais à tout moment elle devient agitée et me repousse. Puis, chaque fois que quelqu'un s'approche, elle me tend les mains et s'accroche à moi comme si elle s'accrochait à la vie. J'ai l'impression d'être en verre fragile et sur le point d'éclater en mille morceaux.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of If I Die Before I Wake characters


Main article: Jean Little



  • Resource Links, Best of the Year (2007) - commended[5]
  • Red Cedar Award, BC Young Readers' Choice (2010) - short-listed[6]


"I would like to thank the staff at the Guelph Public Library, Barbara Hehner, and Dr. Heather MacDougall of the University of Waterloo, who checked my facts and answered my questions and helped me find out all the things I needed to know to write this book. Without you, I would have been lost indeed. I would also like to thank my mother, Gorrie Gauld, for keeping a diary during her first year in medical school in 1918. They all helped and inspired me. All the glaring errors remaining are my own."



See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]