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Friday, December 18, 2009

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls

Ways to Live ForeverSam McQueen has leukemia. Sam is blunt; perhaps he is being realistic and just trying to work through things. This is his third bout with cancer and he knows that he is going to die. His father has a hard time dealing with it to the extent that he won't even talk about it. His mom tries to keep things normal for his little sister.

This book is a "book" written by Sam during his last three months. Sam really likes books and making lists. It starts when Sam is being home schooled with another sick friend, Felix. Felix dies first and Sam reacts very maturely - more so then some others.

Sally Nicholls has this book set in England, her own country. Fun words such as "mum", "sledging", and "tinned peaches" add to the positive tone. She also intersperses several "wow" facts in this fiction book. This female author gives an impressive voice to an eleven year old boy. The thoughtfulness and humor of a typical boy shines through. This book is not about dying; it is about living. Boys and girls ages eight to eleven will gain insight and empathy relating to any serious illness.

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