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The Distance Between Us

A Memoir


In this inspirational and unflinchingly honest memoir, acclaimed author Reyna Grande describes her childhood torn between the United States and Mexico, and shines a light on the experiences, fears, and hopes of those who choose to make the harrowing journey across the border.

Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this “compelling...unvarnished, resonant” (BookPage) story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.

Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home.

Also available in Spanish as La distancia entre nosotros.

Photograph by Imran Chaudhry

Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a girl, she crossed the US–México border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other books include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies, and the memoirs The Distance Between Us: Young Reader’s Edition and A Dream Called Home. She lives in Woodland, California, with her husband and two children. Visit for more information.

Common Core Suggestion

Freshman Reading:

Grand Valley State University (2012/2013)

California State University, Los Angeles (2013/2014)

Santa Rosa Junior College (2014/2015)

San Juan College (2014/2015)

University of Iowa (2014/2015)

Butte College / California State University, Chico (2014/2015)

Villanova University (2015/2016)

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More books from this author: Reyna Grande

More books from this reader: Yareli Arizmendi

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