Too Far Away to Touch
Leslea Newman, Catherine Stock (Illustrator)
Reading Level: 4 - 8 years
Zoe looks forward to her outings with Uncle Leonard, but now that he has AIDS, some things are different: most of his hair has fallen out, he takes pills, and he tires quickly. After a trip to the planetarium, he puts glow-in-the-dark stars on her bedroom ceiling. When Uncle Leonard and his friend Nathan take her to the beach one evening, Uncle Leonard reassures Zoe that when he dies, he'll be "too far away to touch, but close enough to see," just like the stars. Written with honesty and restraint (and only one mention of the word AIDS), the story has a universality that will touch readers of any age who face the death of a loved one. The expressive watercolor illustrations reflect the innocence of the child and the beauty of the book's message.