Wednesday, December 10, 2008
WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER by Sally Nicholls
A big thank you to one of my 8th grade students for bringing this book to my attention. She told me it was excellent, and I do agree.
WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER tells the story of the last 4 months in the life of eleven year old Sam McQueen. Sam was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six. He successfully battled the disease twice, but this third bout will be his last. Now at home and taking drugs, not to cure the disease, but only to gain him some extra time, he decides to write his story.
With the help of Felix, another terminally ill young boy, Sam puts his thoughts and feelings on paper. He details his daily activities, his frustrations with his illness, and the many unanswered questions he has about the end. He makes a list of what he would like to do before he dies, including things like "be a teenager", "ride in an airship", and "go up down-escalators and down up-escalators."
Sam's straight-forward approach to his situation and those connected with his life provide an emotional, yet inspiring story. There are humorous moments and heart-wrenching times as Sam lives his remaining days with both amazing curiosity and humble dignity. It is a powerful story I'm glad I didn't miss.