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Author of CRP selection will visit West Michigan

  • Reyna Grande will visit campus on March 25 to discuss her book, �The Distance Between Us.� It was the Community Reading Project selection this year.

Posted on March 17, 2014

The author of the book chosen for Grand Valley’s Community Reading Project will give presentations on campus and in Holland.

Reyna Grande, author of the award-winning “The Distance Between Us,” will discuss her book March 24 at the Herrick District Library in Holland and March 25 at the Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room. Both presentations will begin at 7 p.m.; they are free and open to the public.

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 America 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 Award.

Brian Jbara, director of Integrative Learning, 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.

For more information about Grande or the book, visit

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