Book details

Macmillan Children's Book

Between Us and Abuela

A Family Story from the Border

The "Between" Books

Author: Mitali Perkins; illustrated by Sara Palacios

Between Us and Abuela

Between Us and Abuela


About This Book

From award-winning author Mitali Perkins comes her timely debut picture book about love overcoming the border fences between Mexico and the United States.
Page Count
On Sale
Age Range

Book Details

A unique holiday story about love overcoming the border fences between Mexico and the United States from a National Book Award nominee. A new must-read classic for Christmas!

It's almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico to celebrate Las Posadas.

For the few minutes they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven't seen in years. But when Juan's gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. She makes it into a kite that soars over the top of the iron bars.

This heartwarming tale of multi-cultural families and the miracle of love was award-winning author Mitali Perkins's debut picture book.

Imprint Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)



In The News

*Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature Winner*
*Charlotte Huck Honor Book!*
*ALSC Notable Children's Book!*
*NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book Pick!*
*Junior Library Guild Selection!*
*Northern California Book Award nominee!*

*A California Department of Education Recommended Title!*
*Golden Poppy Award Winner*

A story of family strength and unity overcoming fences along the Mexican/United States border. Another poignant piece to add to the current national discussion about the border. A must for any collection." –School Library Journal, starred review

"A powerful picture book debut . . . Cartoon drawings emphasize the resilience of Abuela and her family as they navigate the border landscape, the impenetrable wall, and a situation that feels unfathomable—but is, unfortunately, all too based in reality." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This touching contemporary story sensitively focuses on the U.S.–Mexican border and Mexico's cultural traditions in a heartwarming, informative, and hopeful way. Perkins gently voices some of the challenges families can experience when they are separated by a border . . . Maria’s inventive solution to that distance will make readers cheer, and Palacios’ warm illustrations in saturated colors make the scenes vibrant with feeling and quietly fold in informative visual details about the border and the family’s cultural traditions." —Booklist

"An excellent prompt for discussion . . . a cliché-busting holiday book that could deepen a unit on celebration." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A heartwarming, culturally specific, and hopeful family holiday story." —Horn Book

". . . A heartwarming story of one family's strength and unity in overcoming fences along the United States-Mexico border. It sheds light on the hardship of separation and the resilience of families who live on opposite sides of the border. Vibrant scenes and beautiful illustrations bring the story to life." —Common Sense Media

"Our kid reviewers were immediately invested in this story of a family from San Diego that takes a bus to meet Abuela (whom they haven’t seen in five years) at the fence along the border." —

"Colorful illustrations capture perfectly a hopeful story by East Bay author and Stanford alumna Perkins. Between Us and Abuela is both timely and classic." —Palo Alto Online

About the Creators

Between Us and Abuela

Between Us and Abuela