Oh, the wisdom of grandparents. And the idiosyncrasies. And the forgetfulness. We have so much to learn before they pass to the great beyond. This list of books captures the magic that bonds the old and the young. The things they say. The things you’ll learn. Don’t let these books go unread.
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
After Louisiana and her grandmother take off in the middle of the night, she finds herself in a different state with her grandmother wailing in pain. Louisiana must take control of the situation which means taking the wheel, finagling a dentist appointment, and getting a motel room with no money. DiCamillo at her best.
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green (verse novel)
Macy is deaf. She has accepted her disability, but she has other challenges. Her mother is getting married. They’re moving. She doesn’t know her father. Her best friend is giving her the cold shoulder. Her mother volunteers her to help crabby Mrs Gillan sort her books. As it turns out, Mrs. Gillan’s advice is exactly what she needs.
Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard
Robinson is biracial and lives with her black grandfather. She has a hard time controlling her anger, especially around the school bully. She tries to be like Jackie (Robinson) as her grandfather advises, especially now that he has signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and could be taken away if anyone finds out. Counseling isn’t working so Ms. Gloria decides group therapy with her nemesis is what she needs.
Three Rules of Everyday Magic by Amanda Rawson Hill
Kate has a lot on her plate. Her father left to deal with his depression, her grandmother is losing her memory to dementia, and her best friend has found someone new. While her grandmother’s confusion is unpredictable, she still remembers her three rules of everyday magic, which Kate desperately needs. You must believe, give, and trust to experience magic. Three things Kate has a hard time doing.
In Your Shoes by Donna Gephart
Miles’ grandpop owns a bowling alley. He’s become quite good and is proud of the cash he’s made hustling other kids. Since his grandmother died he’s been obsessed with death and is always spouting off facts about weird ways people have died. Amy is new in town and lives in her uncle’s funeral home. When she stumbles on the bowling alley while trying to escape yet another funeral, she meets Miles, and realizes they have a lot in common, and it’s not bowling.
How to Avoid Extinction by Paul Acampora
It’s been almost a year since Leo’s granddad died and everyone, especially his gram, is a little bit lost without him. When his gram announces that she wants to see the allosaur bones in Utah, a couple thousand miles away, Leo knows nothing and no one is going to stop her. He grabs a few clothes then hops into his gram’s yellow 1973 Ford for a road trip adventure he’ll never forget.
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm (graphic novel)
It’s 1976 and 10-year-old Sunny is spending the summer in Florida at her grandfather’s retirement community while her parent’s deal with her brother’s addictions. She finds a friend in the groundskeeper’s son and together they try to defeat boredom. On the side, she accompanies her grandfather to early bird dinners and sleeps on a hide-a bed.
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Sal and her dad have recently left their Kentucky farm for Ohio. Sal’s mom left, and in the midst of her leaving, died in a bus accident in Idaho. Now she and her grandparents are taking a road trip to visit the crash site. During the drive, Sal tells her grandparents all about her friend Phoebe and her theories about her own mother’s disappearance.
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
When Genie and Ernie are dropped off at their grandparents for the summer, they have no idea how they are going to survive life in the country with no internet. Genie is full of questions, something that annoys most people, but his blind grandfather welcomes Genie’s questions. Both young and old have much to learn from each other as they face the unique challenges of life.