Article Title

The Last Leaves Falling


Lisi Merkley


Dependable, Young Adult, ALS, suicide, friends, death, pain, family, Japan

Document Type

Book Review


Sora, a teenager in Japan, wants to be a professor when he grows up, but he knows that he never will. He’ll never grow up, that is. Sora has ALS, and he knows the disease will take over his life, destroy his body, and eventually kill him. When he becomes confined to a wheelchair and his school can’t accommodate him any longer, Sora loses all his friends and doesn’t see a purpose to his life. On a whim, he joins an online chat group and makes two fast friends. Even with these two new friends, Sora struggles with the idea of just waiting for ALS to kill him and starts pondering ways to die on his terms like the samurai of the past.