One Community One Book 2014

Reyna 1The Distance Between Us: a Memoir by Reyna Grande is the 2014 selection for the One Community One Book project.

This book is the story of the difficulties families face when they are separated by borders. Four-year-old Reyna and her two older siblings were left behind in a small, impoverished, rural town in Mexico when her mother joined her father in El Otro Lado (the Other Side). Her father had left when Reyna was only two years old and she had no memory of him. Both parents left in search of better jobs as work was scarce in their small town of Iguala, leaving the children with their paternal grandparents.

Young Reyna grappled such issues as abandonment, uncertainty, malnutrition, and mistreatment. Her older siblings, especially her sister, were her main sources of comfort. Family changes occurred and when Reyna was 10 years old, her father reluctantly took all three children across the border with him. They faced many adjustments such as learning English, avoiding deportation until they eventually got green cards and later citizenship, getting reacquainted with their father, and the feeling of not really belonging in either the U.S. or Mexico. Grande discovered books and writing, worked hard in school, earned a college degree and later a Master of Fine Arts, and found her place in her adopted country. Read the full article in Iowa Now.

The Distance Between Us_PB











Workshop for Educators Teaching from “The Distance Between Us”
Registration suggested-email
Tuesday, September 9
Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Rooms A, B,C

Immigration in Iowa Film Series
Train to Nowhere: In October of 2002, the bodies of 11 Central American and Mexican undocumented immigrants were found in a rail car in Denison, Iowa. This documentary offers an honest, yet compassionate look at the events surrounding this horrific event. It takes the viewers from the streets of southern Texas, to the hills of a Guatemalan farm, to the Iowa town where the bodies were found. 58 min.
Thursday, Sept. 4
Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A

A Little Salsa on the Prairie:”A Little Salsa on the Prairie: The Changing Character of Perry, Iowa” This 55-minute documentary explores the significant change that began in Perry, Iowa in the early 1990s when an influx of Latino workers and their families came from as far away as Texas, California, Mexico and Central America to work at the local meat packing plant. Perry’s Latino population increased from 47 in 1990 to 1,873 in 2000, accounting for 24.5 percent of the total population.
Wednesday, Sept. 17
Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A

Suggested questions for discussion for The Distance Between Us located here.

Iowa City Public Library Book Discussion
Saturday, September 20
10:30am, Meeting Room E

Coralville Public Library Book Discussion
Tuesday, September 23

UIHC Patients’ Library Book Discussion
Thursday, September 25
Patients’ Library, 8016 JCP
Elevator F, Level 8
12 to 1PM

Reyna Grande, Author of The Distance Between Us
One Community, One Book and UNESCO City of Literature, sponsors
Iowa City Book Festival
Saturday, October 4
7:30pm, C20 Pomerantz Center


Iowa City Public Library; Coralville Public Library; Latino Native American Cultural Center, LNACC;
Public Policy Center; UNESCO City of Literature; Iowa City Human Rights Commission; UI Office of Outreach and Engagement