Ways to live forever Main character: Sam Oliver McQueen Major characters: Felix, Mum, Dad, and Sister Pages: 199 Author: Sally Nicholls The book Ways to Live forever is about a young boy who writes a book as a school assignment. Sam Oliver McQueen is an eleven year old child, terminally ill with leukaemia. In the book Sam writes he includes stories, facts, lists, and his own diary. One of the lists is entitled “Things I want to do”. With the help of his best friend Felix Stranger, an ill 13 year old child, he makes all his wishes come true.
Sam makes lists of questions such as, how do you know that you have died? Why does god make kids get ill? And what would happen if someone wasn’t really dead and people thought they were? Would they get buried alive? With the help of his teacher, they conduct various experiments, Sam and Felix break world records (including the world’s smallest night club). But things take a turn for the worst and Felix dies in hospital. This leaves Sam devastated.
Eventually, the doctors realize the medication is not working as well and Sam makes the decision to stop all medication. Sam dies in his sleep about a month later; he has given his parents a form to fill in about his death so he could finish his book. The last comment is made by his mother, who says, “Sam died quietly in his sleep. He was in no pain. ” The thing that most captured my attention in this sad story was how Sam Oliver McQueen was only eleven years of age yet he could already face the fact that his life was coming to an end, and he accepted that.
I was impressed by how committed Sam was to finding the answers to the questions he asked, it just shows that if you put the hard work in and try your hardest you will get the answers you are looking for. He has so many goals and he really works towards them not letting anything get in his path. The detail that was put in to each and every character in this book was great as it gave you a true feeling and really let you know who that character was as an individual.