The Distance Between Us: Young Readers Edition

336p. photos. S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481463713.
Gr 6–9—In this adaptation of her memoir, award-winning author Grande chronicles her life, from living in Guerrero, Mexico, as a child to attending college in the United States. Themes of poverty, survival, undocumented immigration, health concerns, and domestic violence are juxtaposed against her deep yearning to experience her parents' unconditional love and support and a hunger to excel academically. Throughout the book, she describes how she struggled to hold family relationships and her own identity together under the relentless strains of an immigrant experience. Strong sibling bonds provided support as Grande doggedly worked toward academic success and her dream of college and a place to find peace. This honest first-person account may be a mirror for many readers, allowing them to see reflections of their own strengths, possibilities, and hopes. For others, it offers a humanizing window into the Mexican American experience.
VERDICT An important addition to any library serving middle grade students, given its compelling narrative and the gap it fills in the available memoir subgenre for this level.

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