With The Distance Between Us (Aladdin, $17.99) in today’s divisive political climate, author Reyna Grande felt compelled to share her personal experience of the problems that all too many immigrant families face. As children, Reyna and her siblings were left to endure a life of lonely deprivation with their hostile extended family in Mexico while both parents worked in the United States. Eventually, Reyna’s father returned to lead the children on a harrowing journey across the border so that they could reunite with their mother and begin a new life together in Los Angeles. Despite the constant strain that their immigrant status put on the family, Reyna persevered and became the first family member to graduate from college. The young readers’ edition of Grande’s inspiring memoir will help children appreciate the courage and fortitude of immigrants from all countries. Ages 10-14.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was not your average conspirator. A renowned German theologian, pastor, and pacifist, he seemed destined for a life of quiet contemplation— until World War II destroyed his peaceful future. Although Bonhoeffer had escaped to the United States in 1938 after being arrested by the Gestapo, he was so distraught at the thought of all he could be doing to help fight fascism back home that he returned to Germany on the last ocean liner to cross the Atlantic before war was declared. Bonhoeffer then became part of The Plot to Kill Hitler (Balzer + Bray, $18.99) in an attempt to stop the mass murder that the Führer was perpetrating. Patricia McCormick’s clear-eyed and riveting account of Bonhoeffer’s life is a quick read, but one that will remain in readers’ thoughts long after they turn the last page. Ages 11-14.
Over the last few years, inhabitants of Washington and its environs have witnessed the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) slowly rising from the ground. Now, budding historians can get an inside look at How to Build a Museum (Viking, $17.99) thanks to Tonya Bolden’s fascinating account. The NMAAHC’s recent opening marked the realization of more than a century of petitioning, fundraising, and planning, but the first step was very simple: as the opening chapter title attests, it was to dream. Learn how this dream became a reality in a fascinating tale of Americans coming together to create a truly vital institution. Ages 11-14.