These books weren’t what I was looking for, but YMMV.
My goal in reviewing books about grandparenting is to share the books I find most helpful. There are a lot of grandparenting books out there, and some are better than others. When I find one I love, I review it promptly so you’ll know it’s worth reading. (Check those out here.) But I read many that I don’t recommend, and I generally don’t review those. I realize, though, that what doesn’t seem useful to me might be exactly what one of you is looking for, so here is a roundup of some of the books for and about grandparents that haven’t made the cut this year.
Rockstar Grandparent: How You Can Lead the Way, Light the Road, & Launch a Legacy by Chrys Howard
Why I didn’t recommend it: This book was a messy reading experience. Reminiscences about the culture of the sixties, anecdotes about life as the matriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, and recommendations for how to pray are poured out in equal measure, with an occasional bit of grandparenting advice folded in. It’s written in a casual, conversational tone which kept making me feel as if I was supposed to know this person already. For me, never having watched Duck Dynasty, having been born in the middle of the sixties, and not being an evangelical Christian, I felt like an outsider from the start.
Why you might like it: If you have a strong Christian faith you want to pass on to your grandchildren, this book will encourage you in that pursuit. If you are a fan of Duck Dynasty, you’ll probably like this glimpse inside the family. If you want a long rambling walk through 1960s music and culture, you’ll enjoy Howard’s stories.
Grand: A Grandparent’s Wisdom for a Happy Life by Charles Johnson
Why I didn’t recommend it: This book is written to an audience of one: Johnson’s grandson. Through a series of essays, he sets out to share his view of the world as a Black man and what his grandson will need to navigate and thrive in it. The essays are powerfully and beautifully written, and I appreciated and learned from each one. However, I often felt as if I were doing assigned reading for a college course.
Why you might like it: All of the above reasons might be what you are looking for. It is also is an excellent choice if you are trying to read more diverse authors.
Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren Babies to Teens—Near or Far by Sue Johnson, Julie Carlson, Elizabeth Bower
Why I didn’t recommend it: Originally published in 1996 and most recently updated in 2010, Grandloving feels dated, and the advice is covered better in other books. I did appreciate the extensive list of activity suggestions, but I find my grandchildren are never at a loss for something to do.
Why you might like it: It is chock full of concrete ideas for the time you spend together, so the wealth of suggestions might make up for the stale information on current social media and websites. With chapters dedicated to visiting your grandchildren, loving from a distance, and holiday and family traditions, the advice and ideas for activities can add new dimensions to your time with your grandchildren.
If none of these sound like your cup of tea, check out my favorite books here.