The Distance Between Us, a memoir, by Reyna Grande. Meet the author April 11 at 7 pm, at Glen Allen High School

Our All Henrico Reads 2018 Featured Book

The Distance Between Us is a memoir of award-winning Mexican-American author and motivational speaker Reyna Grande, whose story “captivates and inspires” (Publisher’s Weekly) with an unflinching look at the author’s youth, both before and after she immigrated to the United States from Mexico.

The author recounts her childhood growing up in extreme poverty in Mexico. After her parents leave to pursue opportunities in the U.S., Reyna and her siblings are left with an uncaring family member. At age nine, she enters the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, joining her father. She soon learns that this new life in America—as well as her father—are not quite what she imagined. She is faced with new difficulties, including navigating the U.S. educational system, and her father’s alcoholism and violence.

Reyna finds refuge in reading and writing, inspired by Latina authors. She breaks free from her violent family life and pursues a college degree, and eventually an MFA in Creative Writing, the first person in her family to obtain higher education.

This is a difficult but ultimately inspiring read, from an author who has established herself as an important voice for Latino immigrants at a time when immigration is at the forefront of our national discussion. The Distance Between Us is “a book that deserves to be celebrated for its candor and for the courage of the woman who overcame so many obstacles to write it.” (Los Angeles Times)

— adapted from the author’s website

Praise for The Distance Between Us

“The Distance Between Us is … akin to being the Angela's Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.”
— Los Angeles Times

“An important piece of America’s immigrant history.”
— BookPage

“Accomplishes one of the great things books can do: make an abstract idea real.”
— Christian Science Monitor

“A deeply personal coming-of-age story that extols the power of self-reliance and the love of books.”
— Los Angeles Review of Books

“A standout immigrant coming-of-age story.”
— Kirkus Reviews

More about the author  |  More titles by Reyna Grande


Get the book

Find The Distance Between Us in the HCPL Catalog
Find The Distance Between Us in HCPL Overdrive

Books will be also available for sale from BBGB Books, both before and at the April 11 event.


Enter to win a signed copy

Visit your library after February 1 and fill out an entry slip for a chance to win your own copy of The Distance Between Us signed by the author. Drawings take place at the end of February and end of March; prizes will be signed by the author at the April 11 event.

Thank you to Shared Knowledge Literacy Foundation for donating the prize copies of the book.


Book discussions

Our libraries have lots of opportunities to meet and discuss this year's featured title. We hope you will join us!

Feb. 7, Wed. 7:00 PM Twin Hickory
Feb. 12, Mon. 1:00 PM Gayton
Feb. 26, Mon. 7:00 PM North Park
Mar. 6, Tue. 7:00 PM Glen Allen
Mar. 12, Mon. 7:30 PM Gayton
Mar. 13, Tue. 3:00 PM Varina
Mar. 14, Wed. 1:00 PM Twin Hickory
Mar. 14, Wed. 7:00 PM Sandston
Mar. 20, Tue. 1:00 PM Libbie Mill
Mar. 20, Tue. 7:00 PM Libbie Mill
Mar. 20, Tue. 7:00 PM Tuckahoe
Mar. 26, Mon. 7:00 PM Twin Hickory

Author visit and book signing

Glen Allen High School

April 11, Wednesday, 7-8:30 PM
Doors open 6:15 PM
Glen Allen High School
10700 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen

In partnership with Henrico County Public Schools and the Friends of Henrico County Public Library, we are proud to host author Reyna Grande for an informal discussion of her book and writing career. This event is free and open to the public, and no tickets or admission fee are required. Seating is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Before the evening's program begins, be sure to enter our door prize drawing to win $100 gift cards to Casa Del Barco Restaurant, Mexico Restaurant, and the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Entrants must be present at the event to win. Prizes are donated by the Friends of Henrico County Public Library.

The author's featured book will be available for sale at the event, as well as other titles. She will sign books following the program.


About All Henrico Reads

All Henrico Reads is an annual reading program in which we encourage the Henrico community to all read the same book, then discuss it together—whether at Henrico Library book discussion groups, or on their own—and join us to hear the author speak at a public event. By bringing people together over a common topic, we aim to encourage a sense of community, promote literacy, and foster a love for the connecting power of literature.

Since 2008, we have partnered with Henrico County Public Schools and the Friends of Henrico County Public Library to host the author of our featured book at a public event. We thank them for their support.

Previous All Henrico Reads Titles

2017The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
2016One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
2015Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
2014Guests on Earth by Lee Smith
2013The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
2012 — The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
2011 — Wish You Well by David Baldacci
2009 — Feed by M.T. Anderson
2008 — How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
2007 — Kindred by Octavia Butler

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