Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree” as Want to Read:
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,651 ratings  ·  295 reviews
A novel about a young girl losing her sight, inspired by the author's own life story.

Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely. Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play soccer and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Maf
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 5th 2018 by Bonnier Zaffre (first published 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,651 ratings  ·  295 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
I bought this for the absolutely beautiful cover* (the back features a lovely image of a cherry tree, which is just as appealing as the front cover!) and because I liked the way the book felt in my hands. I didn't know what to expect from it, but I knew it was going to be a special book. Which of course, it was.

Mafalda is nine years old. She's wonderful and insightful and loves her cat, Ottimo Turcaret. 🐱 She also has Stargardt Disease, and is rapidly losing her sight. She measures the increasin
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yup. Bought it for the cover. (Nah, not this cover. I have got the one with the cherry and the black and the girl one 🖤) And actually ended up liking it. What are the odds?
I am happy!

The story is told from the perspective of a 9 year old girl who is suffering from a rare genetic illness, Stargardt Disease, due to which she is going to lose her sight altogether in the following 6 months.
The book follows our main character, Mafalda, for two years after the diagnosis.

The everyday struggles of comi
I bought this book a couple days ago because of the gorgeous cover and the touching premise : Mafalda, a 9 years old little girl, is losing sight because of an illness (the author suffers from this illness herself).

It's a story about resilience, grief, family and friendship. I thought I'd cry, but I didn't feel connected enough to the characters. There was something missing in the story or in the way it was told, but I can't put my finger on what it was exactly... Maybe it was the way Mafalda de
Renee Godding
3/5 stars

" All children are scared of the dark. I am too, because for me, the dark is a blindfold you put over your eyes to play a game, but you can't take off when the game is over"

I’ve had this problem before with own-voice stories, where I really want to love them and somehow feel bad when I don’t… That was exactly the feeling The Distance Between Me and the Cherrytree left me with. If you know me, you’ll also know that I’m on a never-ending search for good books that feature disability or c
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I'd seen a lot of advertisement for this book so I think my expectations were higher than they should have been, as I'm quite disappointed. I really thought I'd love this heartfelt story but I found it quite plain. It focuses on Mafalda's struggle with coming to terms with her illness, soon she will be blind.
To me Mafalda seemed about 6 or 7 years old, she spoke and acted in a very innocent and naive way, very unlike the ten year old she was supposed to be. And so it three the perspective of th
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: readers-first
This is about a little girl who is slowly going blind. It is written from her point of view and tells the story of the months following her diagnosis and how she feels about what is happening to her.

The book is well written and easy to read. I usually enjoy reading a child's point of view, and this was no different. She also writes in a journal, which is a good way to give a insight into what she is thinking and feeling.

The characters were unusual and this added much needed depth to the book. I
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book. A really easy and quick read. The friendship in the book is beautiful and heart warming. Ahh it just gives you so many feels. I can’t even describe them all, haha.
Callum McLaughlin
A simple but charmingly bittersweet story about a young girl coming to terms with the fact that she is losing her sight. It's great to see a novel for young readers that tackles the notion of disability and difference with such honesty and sensitivity; enhanced, no doubt, by the fact that the author has the same condition as her protagonist.

The narrative voice is believably youthful and naive, and the translation from Italian was clearly handled well. Though poignant, it didn’t delve as deep as
This book sounded exactly like my kind of book and I was keen to finally read it. However, the writing style immediately feels very young and like an adult trying to write a child - it didn't feel like an organic voice, despite how it's based on the author's own experiences. I wasn't sure if this was more down to the translation than the actual writing though, but for me personally, it made the book lag, especially towards the middle.

Mafalda is diagnosed with a rare condition that means she will
Aishah Humaira'
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is about little Mafalda who has been diagnosed with the Stargardt disease and how she struggles to get used to her progressively vision loss. It's hard to swallow that people as young as Mafalda had to go through such a rough journey, and the fact that this story is inspired by the author's own experience made it more genuine and sincere.

Nine years old Mafalda is a sweet girl, but due to her condition, she had no best friend. It breaks my heart to see
Katerina  Kondrenko
6 out of 10

Touching, but I felt tricked in the end. As if the author wasn't sure Mafalda's story would move readers so she added one more tragic plotline. I cried, yes, but that seemed forced. Maybe it was needed for contrast or to show that MC's problems are not the biggest in the world and everything's possible as long as you alive...
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree was a touching story about a girl who is losing her sight. It's narrated through the 9-year old Mafalda's eyes and although sad, it's also quite a poignant book.

In a way, it reminded me of Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (which I highly recommend!), as it was told from the child's pov and she described everything in her own way. The readers would obviously be able to see through it and know what's happening, but seeing it described
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The narrator of The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree, like the novel's author, suffers from a rare degenerative eye disease called Stargardt Mist, which ultimately causes blindness. I feel that fostering awareness of such things in children's and young adult's literature is important. From the outset, I was both intrigued by the story and pulled into the narrative. Ten-year-old Italian girl Mafalda is quite a naive narrator in some respects, despite what she has to cope with; she feels au ...more
j  u  l  i  n  a   ☾
I think it’s a very poetic story with wonderful characters. And I cried too much during reading this book.
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet and poignant book that I bought purely for its cover & the cat in the blurb, but which is totally worth reading for the story alone.
Veronika's ReaderFeeder
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I cried my eyes out. It was so unique and beautiful!

My full review in Hungarian:
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Firstly, thank you Pansing for sending me this review copy.

At first, I was not sure whether I would love this book because I hardly read children books. But as the story went by, I started to like it. The story was told from Mafalda, the main character of the book and she appeared to be a 9 year old child who was going to be blind soon.

I really adored the values from the book and it was heart breaking to see a child at such young age needed to face such fate. However, she was not a weak charact
Sammy Jackson
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A really sweet read
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This was unlike any middle grade novel I’ve read recently. 10 year old Mafalda is slowly going blind and is dealing with idea of the things she will no longer be able to do or see, so she plans to run away and live in a cherry tree like the character of her favorite book (not Anne of Green Gables like I thought! Haha). Two new friends, a boy and a kindly janitor lady help her process her grief and find the courag
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this novel after a Yr 7 student recommended it to me. She described it as the best book I have ever read. While I can't make the same claim, I do understand why she liked it so much. The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is the story of nine-year-old Mafalda who is rapidly losing her sight. The reader follows her journey as her vision worsens and her world becomes smaller and greyer.

Even though Mafalda never completely won my heart, I think the author did a great job showing the im
Karen Barber
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you NetGalley for introducing me to a book that stirred me and made me think again about what’s important.
Mafalda is nine years old. She measures things in steps and is acutely aware of what is around her and what she likes. Why? Because she has Stargadt disease and the little spots in her eyes that form a mist are getting bigger. The doctor has given her six months until she becomes blind and has to live in the dark.
Mafalda is a big character. She has dreams and fierce hopes; some of whic
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is the story of Mafalda, a ten year old little girl. Mafalda has a rare genetic illness named Stargardt Disease which affects your vision causing you to go blind. She has slowing been losing her sight and it doesn't look as if she will make it to her next birthday before it is totally gone. She has been keeping a journal with a list of things she wants to do. There is also two people who she is close to Estella her caretaker at school and Filippo her b ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story about a brave young girl who is gradually losing her sight and is afraid of the dark that won't end. Despite her failing sight, she wants to play football, walk on her own and climb her favourite cherry tree. While Mafalda is planning ahead for living in the dark, she makes friends who teach her that she needs to figure out what is most important to her, even when she won't be able to see any more. Mafalda's story is so touching I cried at the end, but that's not to say it is a ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it

Currently sobbing.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such a lovely story about a young girl cherishing the little things in live because they will be a big deal for her in the future. It’s an easy but truly heartwarming book to read.
Dani Paige

I wanted to love this.

While The Distance between Me and the Cherry Tree has a good balance between the heartbreaking reality of Mafalda slowly losing her vision and the whimsy necessary to make that subject matter bearable/accessible to children, the short length of the novel kept me from really falling into and connecting with our protagonist Mafalda.
This is own-voices so I feel a bit guilty for critiquing this story, but I wish we got a bit more depth in Mafalda's attempt at learning how to
Lluna Buades
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little story in which you discover many feelings, it puts you to the test
Simple and ineffable as magic
Ruthy lavin
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply beautiful ❤️
Dhaara S
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is a 2020 Batchelder Award winning book. This book was originally written in Italian and translated by Denise Muir. This book tells the story of Mafalda. Mafalda is a 10 year old girl living in Italy. She has an eye condition called Stargardt Disease. At the beginning of the book, she finds out that she only has about 6 months left before she becomes permanently blind. Mafalda is embarrassed by her condition and refuses to use her magnifying class to h ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • 00.00 - Biri Sizi Düşünüyor
  • Dördüncü Perde
  • Dün, Bugün, Yarın ve Sonsuza Kadar
  • 02:02 Ayçiçeği Karnavalı
  • Lacivert
  • Bugün Adımı Sen Koy
  • Do Fish Sleep?
  • The Boys in the Back Row
  • All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World
  • Ayçöreği
  • Brune
  • Karantina
  • Karantina - Besinci Perde: Mahserin Dört Atlisinin Hikayesi
  • Kraliçeyi Kurtarmak
  • Itch
  • Sarı Puantiyeli Şemsiye
  • A Library of Lemons
  • Abartma Tozu (Ciltli)
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
44 likes · 65 comments
“Some kinds of news should only be given if you have a cat on hand to hug.” 1 likes
“Quien tiene miedo no vive” 0 likes
More quotes…