Award-winning author Reyna Grande shares her personal experience of crossing borders and cultures in this middle grade adaptation of her memoir, The Distance Between Us—“an important account of the many ways immigration impacts children” (Booklist, starred review).
When her parents make the dangerous and illegal trek across the Mexican border in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced to live with their stern grandmother, as they wait for their parents to build the foundation of a new life.
But when things don’t go quite as planned, Reyna finds herself preparing for her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years: her long-absent father. Both funny and heartbreaking, The Distance Between Us sheds light on the immigrant experience beautifully capturing the struggle that Reyna and her siblings endured while trying to assimilate to a different culture, language, and family life in El Otro Lado (The Other Side).
Award-winning novelist (Across a Hundred Mountains) Grande captivates and inspires in her memoir. Raised in Mexico in brutal poverty during the 1980s, four-year-old Grande and her two siblings lived with their cruel grandmother after both parents departed for the U.S. in search of work. Grande deftly evokes the searing sense of heartache and confusion created by their parents departure. Eight years later her father returned and reluctantly agreed to take his children to the States. Yet life on the other side of the border was not what Grande imagined: her father s new girlfriend s indifference to the three children becomes more than apparent. Though Grande s father continually stressed the importance of his children obtaining an education, his drinking resulted in violence, abuse, and family chaos. Surrounded by family turmoil, Grande discovered a love of writing and found solace in library books, and she eventually graduated from high school and went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college. Tracing the complex and tattered relationships binding the family together, especially the bond she shared with her older sister, the author intimately probes her family s history for clues to its disintegration. Recounting her story without self-pity, she gracefully chronicles the painful results of a family shattered by repeated separations and traumas