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In this year's selection for Monroe's community book, author Reyna Grande tells the story of her struggle to reach America.

Now you're being asked to tell your "Coming to Monroe" story.

Each year, the One Book, One Community of Monroe County program selects a novel for the community to read together. A series of events built around discussing the book are scheduled for March and April, 2014.

This year's book is The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande. It's a memoir, telling about Grande's life as a young girl in Mexico, her separation from her parents when they leave to search for a better life in America, and her eventual arrival in the U.S.

It's a story of sadness and sacrifice, but also an uplifting story of overcoming hardship to reach a dream.

We know that many Monroe residents also have compelling stories to tell about how they arrived in the area. Some go back to the early days of settlement along the River Raisin. Others are part of the migration to Monroe to work in paper or auto plants. And some are quite recent, involving first-generation immigrants to America.

The Monroe News, Monroe County Community College and the Monroe Historical Museum are joining together to tell those stories, as part of the One Book, One Community program this year.
Send us your "Coming to Monroe" story – whether it's simple or complex, straightforward or dramatic. Include photos to accompany your story, or send us a video to tell your story first-hand.
To see examples of "Coming to Monroe" stories click here.

We'll gather the various stories and present them to the community – kind of a tapestry of our history. Each of our immigration stories, woven together to create a picture of how Monroe came to become the community it is today.

You can submit your Coming to Monroe story by:

Submitting your story online by clicking here


Writing your story down and mail it to: Coming to Monroe, The Monroe News, 20 W. First St. , Monroe, MI 48161


Emailing your story as an attachment to


Using your smart phone to record a "selfie" and email the video to


Be sure to include a photo or two.

Don't worry about the length. It can be a few paragraphs or up to 1,000 words.

If you're young and don't have much of an immigration story, record your parents or grandparents' story