Your bookshelf: growing up

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By Vince Crossauthor

A selection of books that focus on the theme of growing up

Ways to Live forever by Sally Nicholls (Marion Lloyd/Scholastic, £7.99 PB)

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers

Find a girl called Eva and marry her. Then, even if you can’t live forever, at least you can live for Eva!’

Sam has leukaemia. During his last months, he writes a diary, asking the most difficult questions about life and death, balancing for himself the possibilities of science and religion. Encouraged by his family and his friend, Felix, he gets to do most of the things he wants to before he dies, including running up a down escalator, kissing a girl and flying in an airship.

Sally Nicholls has precisely captured the contents of an 11-year-old boy’s head in all its humorous, list-making splendour. Use this as catharsis, as explanation, as a very touching story in its own right, but make no mistake – it is heart-rending stuff. Have the tissues at hand, and maybe monitor the reactions of young readers. This Waterstone’s Children’s Book Award 2008 winner is that powerful!

Someday Angeline by Louis Sachar (Bloomsbury, £4.99 PB)

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