The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Review

Nine-year-old Mafalda has a degenerative eye condition. As she walks to school each day, the cherry tree that she loves to climb now also represents a poignant means of measuring just how quickly her sight is deteriorating, as she sees it less and less clearly.

Mafalda keeps a list of all the things she will miss when her sight is completely gone, including counting the night stars and playing football. Thankfully, there are some constants in her life – along with her beloved cherry tree, she has her long-suffering cat, her family, and several precious friends. Particularly important is her Romanian caretaker at school, Estella, who, Mafalda will learn, has her own reasons for understanding what is really important in life.

At 200 pages, this is a short but satisfying read. The author’s own experience of Stargadt disorder and her determination to offer both realism but also optimism ensure an honest, authentic and well-balanced narrative. We see not only the pain and the challenges of sight loss, but also the sources of hope, as Estella helps Mafilda to realise that to live in fear is not to live at all.

Tender and thought-provoking, with a powerful but unforced message.

Share this page with your friends

More books like this

Running on Empty

Author: S E Durrant Illustrator: Rob Biddulph (front cover)

Twelve-year-old AJ lives within a stone’s throw of the London Stadium, and his dream is to one day run there. However, his parents have learning difficulties, mounting bills, and are struggling to cope. A powerful book: convincing, uplifting and immensely readable.

Read more about Running on Empty

The New Football Coach

Author: Dominique Demers Translator: Sander Berg Illustrator: Tony Ross

The Black Duck Brook Football Club are hoping their new coach Miss Charlotte will help lead them to victory - but she seems to have some very unusual methods. A quirky, warm story about doing your best.

Read more about The New Football Coach