Reyna Grande is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards, and in 2015 she was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. Her works have been published internationally in countries such as Norway and South Korea. Her novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in schools across the country. In her latest book is The Distance Between Us, an inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life.
Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico (where 43 college students disappeared in 2014), Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was going on ten, she left Iguala to make her own journey north. She entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, and later went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college. Now, in addition to being a published author, she is also a sought-after speaker at high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.