Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a young girl, she crossed the US–Mexico border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other books include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains, and Dancing with Butterflies, the memoirs The Distance Between Us: Young Readers Edition, and A Dream Called Home. Her latest books are the anthology Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings and the novel The Ballad of Love and Glory. She lives in Woodland, California, with her husband and two children.
Books by Reyna Grande
A Ballad of Love and Glory
The year is 1846. After the controversial annexation of Texas, the US Army marches south to provoke war with México over the disputed Río Grande boundary.
Ximena Salomé is a gifted Mexican healer who dreams of building a family with the man she loves on the coveted land she calls home. But when Texas Rangers storm her ranch and shoot her husband dead, her dreams are burned to ashes. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory and defend her country, Ximena uses her healing skills as an army nurse on the frontlines of the ravaging war.
Meanwhile, John Riley, an Irish immigrant in the Yankee army desperate to help his family escape the famine devastating his homeland, is sickened by the unjust war and the unspeakable atrocities against his countrymen by nativist officers. In a bold act of defiance, he swims across the Río Grande and joins the Mexican Army—a desertion punishable by execution. He forms the St. Patrick’s Battalion, a band of Irish soldiers willing to fight to the death for México’s freedom.
When Ximena and John meet, a dangerous attraction blooms between them. As the war intensifies, so does their passion. Swept up by forces with the power to change history, they fight not only for the fate of a nation but for their future together.
Somewhere We Are Human
In the overheated debate about immigration, we often lose sight of the humanity at the heart of this complex issue. The immigrants and refugees living precariously in the United States are mothers and fathers, children, neighbors, and friends. Individuals propelled by hope and fear, they gamble their lives on the promise of America, yet their voices are rarely heard.
This anthology of essays, poetry, and art seeks to shift the immigration debate—now shaped by rancorous stereotypes and xenophobia—towards one rooted in humanity and justice. Through their storytelling and art, the contributors to this thought-provoking book remind us that they are human still. Transcending their current immigration status, they offer nuanced portraits of their existence before and after migration, the factors behind their choices, the pain of leaving their homeland and beginning anew in a strange country, and their collective hunger for a future not defined by borders.
Created entirely by undocumented or formerly undocumented migrants, "Somewhere We Are Human" is a journey of memory and yearning from people newly arrived to America, those who have been here for decades, and those who have ultimately chosen to leave or were deported.