Ways to Live Forever

If you’re looking for a book to make you cry, this is it.  Eleven year old Sam has leukemia, so he stays home everyday with his teacher Ms. Willis and his friend Felix, who also has cancer.  Sam likes to list facts about himself, such as he has always wanted to go up a down elevator or take a ride on an airship.

With these lists, Sam seems to be able to hold his world together against his disease, but this stability is tested when Felix develops an infection and is rushed to the hospital.  He passes away a few days later and in the following weeks, Sam’s health also deteriorates.  Sam’s parents struggle to grant him some final wishes, including taking a ride on an airship.

The final pages are extraordinarily touching.  I’d recommend to ages 9 to 13.  Themes include perseverance in the face of death and family bonding in a time of trial.

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