When Heroes Die

Author(s): Penny Raife Durant

Young Adult

The lab must have made a mistake.

It has to have been a mistake, because it can't be possible that Uncle Rob has AIDS. Rob has been Gary's hero for as long as he can remember. Rob is vital, successful, and athletic; he is knd and good and almost a father to Gary. Gary refuses to accept the truth about his uncle. Rob cant be dying. Especially not now, when the seventh grade has brought new complications to Gary's life. He needs Rob's advice and guidance now more than ever before--about friendship, and basketball, about girls and how not to be shy. 

But Rob is dying. There was no mistake. And perhaps the only person who can help Gary through the loss is Rob himself. 


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Penny Raife Durant was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she still lives with her husband Omar and two sons, Geof and Adam. A full-time writer and mom, she is a former elementary school teacher and preschool teacher and director. She is a part-time consultant to Lutheran schools in the Rocky Mountain area.

She was introduced to books at an early age by her reading teacher mother and went on to earn a B.S. in elementary education and an M.A. in early childhood education with an emphais in children's literature from the University of New Mexico. 

When a close friend contracted AIDS she became interested in finding out more about the disease. When Heroes Die was her first attempt to deal with the issue of AIDS, dying and living, and to help others who ask the question, "what do I have left when someone I love dies?"

General Fields

  • : 9780689317644
  • : Aladdin Library US
  • : Aladdin Library US
  • : March 1992
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 136
  • : 10+
  • : English
  • : Penny Raife Durant