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 beautifully captures 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).
REVIEW BY: Arianna, 13 years, 11 months
MAY CONTAIN SPOILER:
I absolutely loved this story! This true story filled me with anger, laughter, sadness, and determination.
It tells the story of a young girl and her siblings living in Mexico and immigrating to the U.S.A. They experience things no one should even have to. Yet, they survive and become stronger.
My favorite person is Reyna Grande because this book tells the story of a naive child growing up to be a capable and strong woman.
My favorite part is when Diane helps Reyna realize her potential as a writer. She is a friend and companion to Reyna during a difficult time.
I think those who enjoy emotional coming of age stories and the unexpected obstacles immigrant's face.
I give this book 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 and up.
I had the privilege of interviewing Reyna Grande at the Texas Book Fest. The interview is located below.
Question #1: What was your inspiration for "The Distance Between Us" ?
" I wanted people to learn more about what it is like to be a child immigrant and what they experience."
Question #2: What was your favorite person in the book?
" My older sister Mago because she took care of me while my parents where gone and we had a special bond."
Question #3: What was the hardest person to write about?
" It was my father because of his difficulties throughout life and he was dying when I was writing this book."
Question #4: What was your favorite part to write about ?
" It was probably my older sister and I because we had a special childhood bond. This book aloud us to reconnect with each other."
Question #5: What is your favorite part of being a reading rock star author?
" Interacting with young readers is special because I don't always get to."
Question #6: What was the hardest challenge you've had to face and how did it make you stronger?
"Emotionally- it was writing this book because I had to relive everything.
Physically- It was running across the U.S border.
I feel that after doing these thing I can overcome all obstacles in life."
Question #7: What was the biggest cultural difference you noticed?
"In Mexico all the children are outside and playing but here the children are put under house arrest and don't go outside. Everyone is a stranger and you don't have that sense of community or family."
Here are pictures from my interview with Ms. Grande:
A big thank you to Reyna Grande and her publicist for allowing me to interview her.