Parents' Guide to

Ways to Live Forever

By Stephanie Dunnewind, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Touching but not maudlin story about a dying child.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+


Grown-ups and older kids should definitely read this book at least once. I loved it -- laughed, cried, couldn't put it down, and won't ever forget it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (12 ):

Nicholls finds true emotion in Sam's relationships with his family and friends, including his heartbreakingly real interaction with his father, who pretends Sam's illness doesn't exist. As much as readers will want to fight it, the novel stays true to Sam to the end.

While some well-known books (A Bridge to Terabithia being the most obvious) touch on childhood loss, most follow the perspective of those left behind. WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER offers a fictional 11-year-old's first-person take on dying. Sam is a sweet, believable boy who is never saintly -- "I want to do my things!" he insists, tired of visitors and being "nice to aunts and uncles all day." Despite the sad premise of terminal illness, Sam finds plenty of joy in life, whether goofing off with his friend or trying to call up Marie Antoinette's ghost on a Ouija board (and who should show up but MARIAN TWANET).

Book Details

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