WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER by Sally Nicholls

WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER

Age Range: 9 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

“If I grow up,” 11-year-old Sam informs readers, “I’m going to be a scientist.” He says “if” because he has acute lymphoblastic leukemia and knows he probably won’t. With the encouragement of his tutor, he starts to write a bit about himself, then more, until he is using his writing to sort out his death. Interspersed with Sam’s lists, questions and odd bits of mortality facts on notebook paper, his narrative proceeds in short, candid chapters that reveal a boy who, though he’s not ready to die, nevertheless can confront the reality with heartbreaking clarity. As his parents wrangle about treatment (he doesn’t want it), his little sister grapples with the changes to the household and his best friend and fellow cancer-sufferer dies, Sam methodically works through the things he wants to do before he dies, from going up a down escalator to the more problematic ride in an airship and seeing the earth from space. Nicholls’s debut skillfully avoids bathos at every turn, sketching a fully-formed character readers will be glad they’ve met and sorry to bid farewell. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-545-06948-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008




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