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Excerpt - Too Far Away to Touch

      "Why did the man in the Planetarium call the sky the heavens?" I asked Uncle Leonard.
      "I don't know, Zoe."
     "Is that where people go when they die?"
     "Maybe."
"Are you going to die, Uncle Leonard?" I looked at his face in the moonlight.
      Uncle Leonard didn't answer for a minute, but I felt his hand squeeze my shoulder tight.
"Everyone has to die sometime, Zoe," he said. "There is no cure for AIDS yet, so I may die soon. But I hope not. I'd like to live for a long, long time."
      I looked up at the stars again. "But where will you go when you die?"
      "I don't know where I'll go," Uncle Leonard said, "but I know where I'll be. Too far away to touch, but close enough to see."
      As soon as he said it, I knew he was right, because even with my eyes closed I could picture Uncle Leonard sitting at the cafe near the Planetarium, smiling his sad kind of smile."
 
© 1995 Lesléa Newman


 

Reviews - Too Far Away to Touch

"Exceptionally thoughtful...Newman's treatment of her subject is singularly sensitive....it's hard to imagine a more appropriate book that deals so gently and insightfully with such an important topic." --Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"An important book in which a young girl comes to an understanding of death, and more importantly, of love." --The Horn Book Magazine

"This is a beautifully done quiet tale that will be meaningful to all children who have lost a beloved relative to any illness, but especially to AIDS. A special story of the enduring nature of love." --School Library Journal

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