Petra Bartoli y Eckert

Behind the Stars Real Close

A touching coming-of-age novel about loss, grief, new beginnings and first love

After her older sister Sina is killed in a car accident, her entire world falls to pieces for 15-year-old Felicitas. The only thing she has left of her sister is the shared chat. Feli now continues to chat with her sister on a one-sided basis. Here she has the feeling of being close to her sister, almost as if it were actually possible  that Sina could still reply to her online.

When Feli is caught climbing onto the school roof at night to watch the stars – something she often did with Sina – she is given community service. Three weeks of service
at the old people’s home! What?! Feli runs riot! But it’s no use, she has to go to the home and explain to the old people how to use a computer.

In the process, she makes friends with the elderly Clara Rotfuß and even begins to miss working at the old people’s home on her days off.
This is not only due to Clara, but also to Vito, who is doing a voluntary social year at the old people’s home.
But can you grieve for your sister and fall in love at the same time?

Südpol Verlag

Young Adult Fiction

Original title: Hinter den Sternen ganz nah
Age 12+
208 pp | € 16
hc | 148 x 205 mm
Publication: August 2023

Author: Petra Bartoli y Eckert

All rights available


“The theme of coming to terms with grief and the cross-generational friendship that develops in the book are sensitively and lovingly realised, and there is also a subtle love story. […] a beautiful story that, despite all the melancholy, puts the beauty of life centre stage.” – Evelyn, Dreaming till midnight Blog

“A warm-hearted novel – not just for young people – about the courage to take your life into your own hands. A wonderful book about grief, hope and love. Simply about life.” – good news for you

“A great novel about grief, new beginnings and first love.” – Beate Schröder, YANGO Westfälische Nachrichten

“I was very moved by this book from the first to the last page. It’s simply a great book for young people that conveys how to deal with grief in an authentic way and doesn’t come across as sad at all. Quite the opposite – this story teaches you that you are never alone and that you can always move on somehow” – Steffi @steffis_bookish_things

By the same author and illustrator