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A Dream Called Home

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  824 ratings  ·  151 reviews
An inspiring new memoir from Reyna Grande, the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and national bestselling author of The Distance Between Us, about her quest for belonging, a writing career, and a home built of more than words and dreams.

A Dream Called Home is the follow up to Reyna Grande’s national bestselling memoir The Distance Between Us. In that book, Reyna
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Atria Books
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  824 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very timely read. In the states one would have to living under a rock to not realize how the immigration is dividing our country. I'm not going to offer my opinion on this issue, just state my thoughts on this memoir.

Her father came first, than her mother, finally when she was nine her father came back for the three children. All illegal, they were caught twice by patrols and sent back to Tijuana, the third time they made it. They settled in California, but by now her family was fractured, he
Elyse  Walters
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Surprising --VERY ENJOYABLE audiobook!!!.....(read by Yareli Arizmendi)

"When Reyna Grande was nine years old, she walked across the US- Mexico border in search of a home, desperate to be reunited with the parents who had left her behind years before for a better life in the City of Angels. What she found instead was a different mother, an abusive, alcoholic father, and a school system that belittled her heritage".......

This story is intimate/ and real (it IS REAL) -- the writing flowed easily -
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reyna Grande’s memoir “The Distance Between Us” brought to life the heart-breaking experience of a young girl left behind in Mexico when her parents illegally immigrated to America. She continues her story in the brilliantly written and emotionally affecting “A Dream Called Home.” After she is finally brought to America she pursues her dream of a college education and becoming a writer. Her path is filled with hardship and feeling that she doesn’t belong, no matter where she is. Despite the many ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading Grande's thoughtful essay on American Dirt in January, I knew I wanted to read more of her. Grande crossed the US Mexican border as a child and writes authentically about living as an immigrant. A Dream Called Home is about her adjustment to college and afterwards. I found this memoir enjoyable and educational. Grande writes with an open and passionate voice - taking the reader along with her on her journey. ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reyna Grande was just nine-years-old when she walked across the U.S.-Mexican border in search of her parents who left her years before. The parents she finds aren't the parents a young girl longs for. Reyna surrounds herself reading books and writing. Once she is accepted to the Uuniversity of California she finds it isn't all that easy to follow your dreams. Told in her own words, her experience for the American Dream is heart breaking yet triumphant. Rising against all odds. A remarkable read ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m working on my #ReadAfrica2018 reading project, but had to take a break for Reyna Grande’s A Dream Called Home - and I’m so glad I did! Although now I feel like I have opened a new door to a new reading challenge as she mentions so many writers and poets that I know I need to read! I have taken their names down and will keep it on the back burner for next year. Also, quite fittingly, it’s Hispanic Heritage Month here in the US, so this was a brilliantly timed memoir, both in terms of Reyna be ...more
Bjorn Sorensen
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This could be a tragic lump of paper, but instead it's about someone putting the steps forward. What one sees as a cross to bear, another sees as salvation.

As a young child, Grande was left in Mexico by her parents, who went to the U.S. to look for better lives for themselves and their families. The parents got divorced and found other spouses. As the book unfolds, Reyna learns about the violence in her family going back generations, of forced marriages and abused kids carrying on the hurt into
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Yeah, well my friend Michaela won an ARC & naturally I read her copy once she'd finished it. She didn't tell me anything about her impressions, so I went into it free of preconceived notions. Having completed it, & now having read her review of the book, I am just going to refer you to her review as it pretty much mirrors my own thoughts. ...more
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story. This was a required reading for one of my classes, and I'm so glad to have been exposed to Reyna Grande. As a latina, I don't expose myself to nearly enough latinx literature. Her story is inspiring and I highly recommend.
This memoir follows Grande through her young adulthood, as she attends college away from Los Angeles and begins to find her way through adulthood. It's a moving memoir about being Latina and an immigrant and the ups and downs that come with the pride and challenges of being the first in her family to graduate from college. Grande talks about the relationships that came together and those that failed in her family, which continues the story she began in THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. While stand alone, ...more
Carla Suto
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
A DREAM CALLED HOME by Reyna Grande is the compelling sequel to her beautifully-written memoir, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. The first book was riveting and I could not wait to read the sequel. A DREAM CALLED HOME picks up where Grande left off in THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US and focuses more on her adult life in the United States as she attends college, works tirelessly toward becoming a published writer and ultimately marries and has children. With the same candor and insight of the first book, the rea ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ----

Yeah, this just didn't sit so well w/ me. On a positive note, there are a lot of authors to explore mentioned in the story, & I am grateful to have been made aware of these people, b/c now I can go explore their works for myself. There is enough interesting content available in here, particularly about different parts of Mexico. Overall, the book mostly describes the author making her way through an (early) adulthood for which

Jeanette Michalets
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it

I enjoyed this memoir and would actually like to rate it a 3.5. Reyna Grande led an incredibly brave and purpose-filled life from the time her father carried her on his back across the border from Mexico until the day she not only graduated from college with a degree in writing, but also to the day she received her Master's degree in creative writing.

There were many obstacles in her path to becoming not only the first in her family to graduate college, but also the first to finish high school. W
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Of the books I’ve read about the immigration experience, not one has been written by an immigrant herself, as if we were voiceless,” I said. “As an immigrant, I have a voice and I want to be heard. This is what Emerging Voices stands for, isn’t it? To give aspiring writers a chance to be heard and open the door for us to tell our own stories? Immigrants deserve a place in American literature because our experiences in the U.S. reflect the American experience,” I continued, “If you accept me in ...more

“I had never owned a book until I turned nineteen and Diana gave me The Moths and Other Stories for my birthday.” (p. 252)

I have long admired and been fascinated by the grit needed to experience America as an immigrant. Reyna Grande, in her memoir, A Dream Called Home, tells that tale better than most; perhaps because she tells it from the viewpoint of a child.

I read Reyna’s first novel, Across a Hundred Mountains, in November, 2009; and I’ve been a fan of her storytelling ev
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A clear, thoughtful, heartfelt memoir. Like other immigrants, Reyna struggles to straddle two cultures—both to honor and to escape the world of her parents. What makes this memoir special is the character and integrity of Reyna herself, shining through on every page. She suffers abuse and injustice, but never scores easy points. Instead, she seeks to understand.

As the most successful one in her family, she has to accept that sometimes her parents and sisters don’t want her help. Her earnest enth
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. The book begins with the author about to begin college in California. It's quite a distance from her hometown in Mexico, which she left as a young poor girl, illegally entering the United States. The author has many challenges, self-made and external. We follow her as she makes mistakes, learns, and grows. I enjoyed the story very much, however, there were errors and cliches and parts that could have been left out (IMO) - and in time this author's work will shine brightly.
Victoria (Latte Nights Reviews)
Wow, I loved this memoir so much. With all the controversy surrounding American Dirt, there have been so many own voices recommendations made all over bookstagram, I'm so glad I listened to this recommendation because I love this book. I cried a few times while reading, and then added Reyna Grande's other books to my TBR.
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Beautiful, inspiring sequel to The Distance Between Us. Grande is a woman of incredible strength, resilience, courage and talent. Her story & writing are magnificent. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about the immigration experience. ...more
Jeaninne Escallier Kato
Reyna Grande describes the experience of being a poor immigrant from Mexico like a dying bird in a pair of cupped hands. You can't change the bird's fate, but you can feel the bird's pain and want to shield it from harm. Reyna writes of her experiences with the realization that she will always be that poor Mexican girl who felt different in 'el otro lado,' but her journey to find her success, her husband, and her children, will shield her from ever going back to her difficult beginnings. Reyna h ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, memoir
I won an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway, this did not influence my review.

I had previously read and loved Grande's childhood memoir, The Distance Between Us, and I was intrigued to read about Grande's adult life. It was a bit disorienting at first trying to connect the dots between the two books as I read her first four years ago. Grande remains a gifted writer and it was satisfying to read about her many successes after all she endured. Yet this book dwells a bit too long on quotidian college life
Grace Sanchez
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
This is a beautifully written memoir about being the first in her family to attend and graduate from college and to grow up to become a successful author and human. The author had many mentors along the way who helped her believe in herself and in her goal of becoming a writer and published author. Her journey has not been easy and it is an eye opener for those who have grown up with privilege; and is a huge support for for those who are paving their way as the first in their families to seek an ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grande is a beautiful writer, and I loved this memoir even more than her first (The Distance Between Us). It is a moving account of how she gets past the trauma of her childhood in Mexico and, because of her fierce determination, makes a life in the U.S. with very little help. She is so open and honest in this book that I really came away with s better appreciation for her story and how hard it was for her to get where she is now. And oh—she taught middle school for a bit. Those chapters should ...more
Andrea (formerly Amadeus)
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very timely given current events in America. I often wish we read stories like this in grade school because diverse perspectives are so important. And, once again, I remember how much our history classes left out. Definitely enjoyed reading a fresh voice.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put this book down, just like when I was reading The Distance Between Us. The subject matter is so timely and really gave me so much insight into the immigrant experience. I am in awe of Grande’s accomplishments through so much hardship.
Shirley Freeman
I have not read Grande's first memoir so I can't comment on the synthesis of the two, but this memoir stands alone as an interesting look at one immigrant's life. Grande was born in a very poor village in Mexico. At age 2, her father came to the US to try and make a better life for his kids. Two years later, her mother followed, leaving the kids with grandparents. Those experiences, plus coming to the US, undocumented, at age 9 are the subjects of the first memoir. This one picks up as Grande go ...more
Katya Poradiuk
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another stunning book by Reyna Grande. Her story speaks to all immigrants.
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was excited to find out there was a sequel to Reyna Grande’s beautiful memoir, The Distance Between Us. That meant I could stop Googling her! 🤣 I loved learning about her life after high-school and finding out some things about her childhood she didn’t share in her first book. There were some parts that were repetitive which is why I gave it 4 stars but it also means someone can read this book without reading the first part. This book goes a little bit more into how a college education doesn’t ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
It was a bit drawn out in some parts and very self pitying in others.

I felt she spent a lot of time feeling sorry for herself, which I get she had such a difficult upbringing. But she was in constant repetition of herself. She also made some rather questionable relationship decisions along the way. Which in my personal opinion was a little stupid on her part.

It’s written well -just long winded and a little oh woe me.

Devon H
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for memoirs, but Grande's memoir is so beautiful and makes me want to read the rest of her body of work immediately! Grande's writing is vivid, yet feels simple and approachable. It's clear the amount of effort she put into picking just the right words to convey her message so gracefully, and I'm looking forward to her fiction works.

Grande is an immigrant from a small town called Iguala, Mexico. She moved to the US as a kid, and began to pursue her writing at a young age of 13. Her
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Reyna Grande is the author of two novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, which received a 2007 American Book Award; Dancing with Butterflies, which received a 2010 International Latino Book Award. In her memoir, The Distance Between Us (Atria, 2012) Reyna recounts her experiences as a child left behind in Mexico when her parents emigrated to the U.S. in search of work, and her own journey to the U.S. ...more

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