Sunday, September 4, 2011

Booktalk: Ways to Live Forever (Virginia Readers' Choice)

How many times have you said, “When I grow up… ?” Probably lots of times. When I grow up. It’s a normal childhood phrase. Sam is 11 and doesn’t say it. He says, “if I grow up.” He has leukemia, and he’s been through chemotherapy several times. The leukemia also comes back, unfortunately. Pretty sad, huh? So you’re thinking, why would I want to read a sad book? There are a bunch of reasons, but the best one I can think of is that Sam is a really cool and brave person. He met his best friend, Felix, in the hospital, and they’d do crazy stuff like stealing a trolley and riding around in it, or asking their tutor to help them make things which explode. Sam is also a fact collector and an expert list maker. He really likes wolves, and he wants to break some silly world records. He’s a normal kid with a normal family who has to think about death and dying, because it could be around the corner for him. Just getting to know him was one of the coolest things about his story. Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls.

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008. 212 p. Booktalk to middle school. Virginia Readers’ Choice 2011-2012 for middle school.

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