Lesléa Newman’s Too Far Away to Touch (1995)

Too Far Away to Touch by Leslea Newman (1995-03-27)

Too Far Away to Touch (1995), thoughtfully written by Lesléa Newman and movingly illustrated by Catherine Stock, follows a young girl as she processes her beloved uncle’s AIDS-related illness.

The child, Zoe, loves her uncle, Leonard, who takes her on adventures in New York City when he visits her. On one visit Zoe plans to tease him by pretending she’s found his lost marbles in his thick head of hair. Things don’t go quite as planned because he’s wearing a beret when he arrives, so Zoe saves the trick for later. Continue reading

MaryKate Jordan’s Losing Uncle Tim (1989)

Losing Uncle Tim by Marykate Jordan (1989-12-02)Losing Uncle Tim, written by MaryKate Jordan and illustrated by Judith Friedman, was published by Albert Whitman & Company in 1989. It is narrated in the first person by a boy, Daniel, who is processing the illness and eventual death of his uncle due to an AIDS-related illness.

The story is breathtakingly painful. It beautifully captures the relationship between Daniel and his uncle, Tim, as well as Daniel’s deep emotions. Friedman’s illustrations, which face Jordan’s text, look like snapshots from a photo album. This technique provides a sense of intimacy and urgency as the story progresses. Continue reading