Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border

By Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Sara Palacios. Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2019. 40 pages. $17.99/hardcover; $9.99/eBook. Recommended for ages 3–6.

This is a holiday picture book about a family intending to visit with their grandmother whom they have not been able to see for five years, as she lives south of the border. The children have made gifts for their grandmother and plan to exchange them to celebrate the holiday season. The book includes an explanation of Las Posadas, a nine-day festival celebrated each December in Mexico and other places in Latin America and the United States. Since 1993, there has been a holiday gathering in Friendship Park in San Diego, Calif., and Playas de Tijuana in Mexico. People gather along the fence to exchange news and holiday greetings. Nuns and a priest participate by reading the Christmas story and leading carols. Unfortunately, the homemade gifts are too large and can’t go through the fence. But the young granddaughter uses ingenuity to solve that problem.

Friends might be interested to learn that the author’s note at the end of the book gives thanks to Pedro Rios, director of American Friends Service Committee’s U.S.–Mexico Border Program, for his guidance, and refers readers to the website for more information ( This would be a lovely book to share with your meeting during the holidays.

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