Illustration: Lena Maria Vollmer, 5Am (September 2018)

Nicholls, Sally: Ways to Life Forever


“My name is Sam. By the time you read this I will probably be dead.”


Sam McQueen is eleven years old. At the age of six he got diagnosed with leukemia. Since that day everything has changed in Sam’s and his family’s life. Sam is sick of hospitals, dealing with endless nosebleeds, always feeling tired, and the torturous bouts of chemotherapy. The doctors thought they had beaten the cancer, but it always comes back.

Sam and his friend Felix, who is also ill, go to school together at Sam’s house three days a week. Mrs Willis, their teacher, usually makes it fun. In fact, she gives Sam the idea to start his very own book! This book is about his life and dealing with cancer.

Same’s book includes many lists for example: What to do when someone dies, ways to live forever, and questions that nobody will answer. There are also some things he wants to experience before he dies: flying in an airship, kissing a girl, and going up the down escalator. He never really expects to actually do these things, but with the help of Felix he starts crossing things off his list.

This book is incredible! The story grips you, page by page, and you soon feel more and more wrapped up in the story. I think you should definitely have some tissues with you while reading. For me the book managed to be funny, moving, intelligent, gripping and terribly sad – all in one.

Although the language of the book is easy to understand, I wouldn’t recommend the book to younger children. The story is really tough, and some subjects are a bit upsetting, so I think it is definitely for teenagers.

Nicholls, Sally: Ways to Life Forever

Rating: *****

Genre: Novel for young adults

Themes: death, friendship, adventures

Pages: 215

Signatur: FE.J / NIC

© Review and Illustration: Lena Maria Vollmer, 5Am (September 2018)