Far Apart, Close in Heart

Being a Family when a Loved One is Incarcerated

Children can experience many emotions when a parent is in jail or prison. They may be angry, sad, lonely, or scared. Sometimes friends act differently toward them. Sometimes the children begin acting differently too. In this important book, young readers will learn that even when it feels like nothing can get better again, there are ways they can improve their circumstances. Sending letters, talking to a trusted grown-up about their feelings, and even visiting a parent in jail or prison can help keep a parent close in their hearts. Use this title as a helpful tool to start a conversation with any child in this situation and to remind them they are not alone.

  • 32 Pages
  • 9" x 9"
  • 9780807512753
  • March 2017

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807512760
  • December 2018

Other Places to Buy


  • This book is a necessary one.

    - Kirkus Reviews starred review

  • A highly recommended title that serves as an excellent entry to discuss incarceration in an age-appropriate way.

    - School Library Journal starred review

  • Having a parent in prison is a complicated matter…Drawing on her own experience, Birtha gilds the text with tenderness and affirmations.

    - Booklist Online

  • A unique and important picture book…Especially and unreservedly recommended.

    - Midwest Book Review

  • Birtha introduces a multicultural cast of children, each with at least one incarcerated parent (the crimes aren’t specified) and a unique challenge

    - The Horn Book Magazine

Awards & Accolades

  • Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017 - Best Picture Books to Give Readers Strength


    Maja Kastelic


    • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.5
    • ATOS Level: 3.3