List NO. 1 - 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.
Sam is dying of leukemia. Sam is also writing a book; a book about himself, a book with stories, a book with lists. One of his lists, for example, is about all the things he'd like to do before he dies. Another lists ways to live forever. Which includes things like "Become a vampire. Hope you don't meet Buffy" and "Find a Greek goddess and make her fall in love with you. Have her get Zeus the king of the gods to make you immortal" (92-93)
Sam isn't facing this alone. He's got his mom and dad, parents who are supportive of him when they're not busy arguing. He's got his sister, Ella, who's nice to be with...some of the time, if only she didn't throw baby tantrums. He's got his best friend, Felix, too. Felix is also dying, though not of leukemia. The two can be oh-so-honest with each other. One of the things they discuss is how Sam's book should end. Since it would be impossible for Sam to write about his own death before it happened. But it's not like they're talking all death, all the time. They enjoy living life too. Like trying to sneak in a cigarette so they know what it's like to smoke. Like trying to watch an R rated movie without getting caught by their parents.
How do you live life knowing your dying? How do you write about it when you're eleven?
This novel is a quick read, but it's a heavy one. It deals with death and dying in a raw, honest way.
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews