Half a World Away


By Libby Gleeson, Illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Arthur A. Levine Books, 2006

Amy and Louie built towers as high as the sky. They dug holes deep enough to bury bears, and they saw magical creatures in the clouds…But one day Amy and her family moved a long, long way away…to the other side of the world.

I’ve come across precious few children’s books that deal gracefully with death (Up in Heaven, by Emma Chichester Clark, is by far the best) and way fewer which acknowledge the smaller, yet also significant, losses kids might experience as well. At the top of that list? Having your best friend move away. The beauty of this very simple book is its reassuring message: A special friendship won’t be broken by distance. When my son’s best friend moved to the opposite coast last fall, he was devastated — but didn’t want to talk about it. I like to think reading this book offered him some comfort.

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