Sally Nicholls “Ways to Live Forever”

This novel touches upon the sensitive topic of death and specifically death by cancer. It is told in a form of a diary written by eleven-year-old Sam who has leukemia. He decides to write a book since “nobody writes about ill children” and indeed there are not many child cancer patient’s life stories out there written in a way that children would actually understand and identify with. The first person narration gives a realistic and emotional overview of Sam’s last months of life. He writes about his antics with another cancer patient Felix, who is Sam’s total opposite – mischievous cynic. Sam also writes about his family relations that differ from ones of a family with healthy children, but not much. The last months of Sam’s life are dedicated to completing the list of things to do before he dies, the list he thought was only a bunch of unrealistic ideas, but where is a will, there is a way for no one wants to die with regrets.

All children ask questions about death. This book does not have all the answers, but some, written in a simple way for children to understand and believe since the one who is explaining is their peer and not an adult who wants to smooth things over.


London : Marion Llyod books, 2008
Recommendation for children in grades 4-6.

Check from the e-catalogue ESTER

Olga Ivaškevitš
Väike-Õismäe branch library

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