Reyna Grande to appear in West Michigan, followed by Monroe and
ALLENDALE: The author of the book chosen for Grand Valley
State University’s common reading program will give two
presentations in West Michigan in late March, followed by
appearances at Monroe Community College (March 26) and Toledo
author of the award-winning “The Distance Between Us,” will
discuss her book at the Herrick District Library in
and on Grand Valley’s Allendale Campus March 24-25, 2014. Both
presentations are free and open to the public, details
•• Monday, March 24, 7 p.m., Herrick District Library, 300 S.
•• Tuesday, March 25, 7 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room.
•• Wednesday, March 26, 7 p.m., Monroe County Community College,
La-Z-Boy Center, Meyer Theater, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe;
followed by Brown Bag Discussion, March 27, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.,
Monroe County Community College, La-Z-Boy Center, Atrium.
•• Thursday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., University of Toledo Book
Store/Barnes & Noble, 1430 Secor Rd. (at Dorr Ave.)—Ms. Grande
will meet with El Centro de la Mujer at 6:30 p.m.
Grande’s book brings to the forefront a timely discussion of
immigration and citizenship as it details her childhood spent
torn between two parents and two countries. Grande’s Mexican
parents leave their children behind to make the dangerous trek
across the border in search of a better life. When Grande
arrives in California at age 9, she adjusts to life as an
undocumented immigrant and learns that life in
the United States
is far from perfect.
Published in 2012, “The Distance Between Us” was a finalist for
the National Book Critics Circle Award. The School Library
Journal named it “One of the Best Adult Books for Teens” in
2012, and it was listed that year as one of the 15 best books by
the Christian Science Monitor. Grande received the American Book
Award for her first novel, Across a Hundred Mountains. She also
earned the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award and the Latino Book
director of Integrative Learning at GVSU, said the book was used
in about 40 courses and by many other discussion groups on
campus. The Community Reading Project was established at Grand
Valley in 2005. Since then, many authors have visited campus to
carry discussions of the book outside the classroom, including
visits to community partners like the Herrick District Library.