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Ways To Live Forever Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 4–7—Eleven-year-old Sam knows that he is dying from leukemia. He has decided to write a book that includes his thoughts on the matter as well as his lists and his questions, particularly those that no one ever answers like, "Why does God let kids get ill?" Through his writing, Nicholls has drawn a portrait of a family coping with a child's terminal disease. Readers meet Sam's mother, father, and younger sister, each of whom is dealing in a different way with his illness. Well researched and beautifully written, the book is equal to the best of children's literature about death and dying, Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia (HarperCollins, 1977) and Deborah Wiles's Each Little Bird That Sings (Harcourt, 2005). Sam knows that his father rushes off to work each day because he cannot admit to himself that his son is dying. He knows that his mother keeps Ella home from school during an unexpected snowstorm in March so they can have one last sledding day together. But, he does not verbalize this knowledge, just as his parents and Ella don't speak of his death. Sam is a child whom readers would want as a friend and he will be missed when the book is done.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“My name is Sam. I am eleven years old. I collect stories and fantastic facts. I have leukemia. By the time you read this I will probably be dead.” So begins a frank, guileless, unflinching first-person account of the last days of a young boy’s life. Sam is writing a book of his experiences, and in a raw, keen voice, he confronts both the uncertainties and certainties of his illness, laying bare its physical and emotional toll. Nicholls balances passages of heavy despair with moments of inspirational bravery, and Sam’s unapologetically sentimental narrative is always honest and never cloying. At the outset, he makes a list of things he wants to do, and that list becomes a map that helps guide his family and friends in their shared journey toward Sam’s unwelcome, unavoidable destination. The story ends as promised, but Nicholls invests the final moments with appropriate grace, reminding the reader of Sam’s courage, frailty, and resilient humanity. Grades 3-7. --Thom Barthelmess
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This book is really worth reading and fans of "The Fault in Our Stars" will enjoy.
This book is about a fictional 11yr old Sam. Sam has cancer, Although the doctors have tried it is incurable. For the most part everyone knows Sam is dying, and yet life goes on. He goes to a motified version of school, Sees his friend, does little but important stuff. But one day his teacher brought up a idea, to write about something. Sam is caught up in the idea of writting and creates this book. He calls it his way of living forever because even though some of the ideas he came up with as things he wanted to do before he died and thought were impossible he found simple but possible ways to do them.