Booktalks

Booktalk for Ways to Live Forever

  • Grades: 3–5

Watch this video booktalk.

Sam looks for answers, makes lists, and wants to find the way to live forever, even though he has terminal cancer.

We're all going to die, sooner or later, we just don't know exactly when or why. But Sam has a better idea about that than most people do. He has leukemia, and it's in the final stages. He doesn't have long to live, maybe just a few months. And he is writing a book about himself, a collection of lists, stories, pictures, questions, and facts. It begins with list number one.

Five Facts about Me

1. My name is Sam.

2. I am eleven years old.

3. I collect stories and fantastic facts.

4. I have leukemia.

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

He also writes down all his questions that adults won't answer. They just slip around them, and say something that doesn't really mean anything, and never answer the question. Some of those questions are: 

1. How do you know that you've died?

2. Why does God make kids sick?

3. What would happen if someone wasn't really dead, and people thought they were? Would they get buried alive?

4. Does it hurt to die? 

Get to know Sam. Read his stories, his questions, his lists. What he wants to do before he dies. What he wants other people to do after he dies. How he wants people to remember him, and how he figures out that there are ways for him to live forever.

This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.

  • Subjects:
    Death, Grief, Loss, Feelings and Emotions, Disease and Illness
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