Where Do People Go When They Die?

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

In this touching narrative, young children ask, “Where do people go when they die?” Each child asks an adult that they trust—a father, a mother, a grandfather, an aunt, a teacher—and, although the reassuring answers they receive are all different, each leads back to the same simple truth: when people die, “They go to God. Who is everywhere.” With an afterward and helpful suggestions about how to explain death to children, readers will find insight into one of the emotional issues we all struggle with.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2004
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Publication Date 2013-08-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV039030, JUV033020
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 6.75 x 9
Features Awards and Reviewed

Author: Mindy Avra Portnoy

Mindy Avra Portnoy is the author of several books, including Where Do People Go When They Die? and Matzah Ball: A Passover Story. She is a graduate of Yale University and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is the Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C.

Illustrator: Shelly O. Haas


  • Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Children's Books of Jewish Content, Winner, 2004
  • SSLI Book Award Honor Book, Commended, 2004
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2004
  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable, Commended, 2004


Detroit Jewish News

“. . .a beautiful book that will comfort both children and parents. . . What graceful writing – and on such a difficult subject. The illustrations are charming, thoughtful and inviting.”
Detroit Jewish News

Jewish Book World

“This thoughtful book. . . beautifully illustrated. . . fills a gaping void. . . It succeeds marvelously in offering a range of ways for children, and the adults in their lives, to think about death. The answers provided in this book are comforting, thought-provoking, and sensitive to the real needs of children and families.”
Jewish Book World

School Library Journal

“Haas’s muted watercolor illustrations help set the tone for this meaningful much-needed book on a universal topic."

WRN News (Women's Rabbinic Network)

“. . .meant to be a resource, both for professionals and lay-people, for teachers and parents. What I really appreciate about this book is that each of the answers to the questions stand next to the other, allowing the reader to understand that there are many valid answers and that they can all be ‘right’ at the same time. . . Moreover, the answers are simple and understandable, making the book accessible to young children.”
WRN News (Women’s Rabbinical Network)