Ways to Live Forever

Ways to Live Forever

ExtractSam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl.

And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.

My name is Sam. I am eleven years old. I collect stories and fantastic facts. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.

True Facts About Ways to Live Forever

1.

I really did run up down escalators when I was writing this book. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages and I thought, if Sam can do it, so can I. I did it in the same place Sam does – at the Cornmill Centre in Darlington.

Ways to Live Forever

2.

The chapter Visits is based on something my mother did after I was diagnosed with diabetes as a child. It was supposed to be a funny scene – but it didn’t turn out that way when I wrote it.

Ways to Live Forever

3.

I deleted over 20,000 words while writing this book (the finished novel is around 32,000 words long). Some of the scenes I deleted include a list of famous last words, a description of how a dead body decomposes and a scene where Sam and Felix try and break their world record by dropping water bombs on Sam’s dad.

4.

There are a few real names and places in this book. Auntie Nicola, Auntie Sarah and Auntie Carolyn are named after friends of mine, as is Raoul, the airship pilot. Stanley Rhode (the airship captain) gets his name from Stanley Road, the street I lived on at university. My friends and I always meant to put Stanley Rhode into one of our essays but never did, so I put him in the book instead. High Strawberry – on Sam’s list of favourite things – is also a real place. We used to stay there when I was a child.

5.

The first words I wrote when I began this book were:

Ways to Live Forever

List No. 1 – Five Important Facts About Me

1. My name is David Oliver Robinson.

2. I am eleven years, two months and seven days old.

3. I have one sister. Her name is Katherine Anne Robinson and she is nine years old.

4. I have acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

5. By the time you read this, I will already be dead.

Reviews of Ways to Live Forever

“impressed by Sally Nicholls’ sensitive handling of terminal illness in Ways to Live Forever”

Mal Peet, The Guardian

“Sympathetic, touching, and surprisingly funny…”

Lovereading.com 

“Sally Nicholls has precisely captured the contents of an 11-year-old boy’s head in all its humorous, list-making splendour.” 

Junior Education Plus

183 Comments

  1. Leslie
    November 24, 2015 @ 2:07 am

    This is a very good book Good job Sally nicholls

    Reply

  2. Arabella
    May 28, 2015 @ 1:18 pm

    I’m also from America.

    Reply

  3. Shannu
    May 17, 2015 @ 1:48 pm

    Hi Sis…..
    I really really love this book,by the time i read this i was completely filled with tears !
    This is the best book i have ever read in my life.
    Even though I’m just thirteen, I have read almost 780 books and this book just impressed me a lot….
    It’s really touching and I’m speechless..
    Kudos to you sis…

    Reply

  4. Arabella
    May 1, 2015 @ 2:25 pm

    I Absolutely love this book. I read it in 6th grade three times. Then I forgot about it.

    I went hunting for it in my school’s library because it’s my last year in middle school and I wanted to end it with the first book I read for school also as my last book.

    I love it!!!!

    It is my favorite Book. ANd is a wonderful read.

    Reply

  5. Arabella
    May 1, 2015 @ 2:24 pm

    I Absolutely love this book. I read it in 6th grade three times. Then I forgot about it.

    I went hunting for it in my school’s library because it’s my last year in middle school and I wanted to end it with the first book I read for school also as my last book.

    It is my favorite Book. ANd is a wonderful read.

    Reply

  6. Jessica
    April 25, 2015 @ 7:45 pm

    I love this book. I saw the trailer on YouTube and my reaction for this was, “I must read this,” it had me hooked immediately. I checked it out of my school library, I still haven’t returned it. I keep rereading it and I fall in love with the story every time. The first time I read it, I teared up when Felix died and I cried when Sam did. Honestly it’s such a great book and I just love it. I have yet to watch the movie because I can never find it anywhere, I also can’t find Season of Secrets anywhere either but I’ll look harder. I really love the story and I actually never wanted it to end.

    Reply

  7. LauraCoolStarz
    January 28, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

    I LOVE Ways to Live Forever. Its my all time favourite book, and my friends love it too. So beautiful and fantastic, yet so sad. It had me crying =(

    Reply

  8. Lexy Rose
    November 30, 2014 @ 11:38 pm

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!
    It was very real. I personally did not have cancer but my best friend while I was growing up did. This story made me think of all of the goofy things we did before I got the news that she had brain cancer. Thank you Sally for sharing a wonderful story with me that was full of excitement and LOTS of tears. 5 out of 5 star book.

    Reply

  9. flodegboo
    October 25, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

    hi sally, I am Florence and I was on your enjoying stories course!i read ways to live forever whilst on it!
    I think your books are amazing and ill recommend them to all the family!
    love ya books,
    Florence
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Reply

  10. Gem
    September 21, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    This is the 4th time reading this book! LOVE LOVE LOVE

    Reply

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