There are many wonderful books for all levels of readers that recognize the unique beauty of intergenerational (IG) relationships. Here are a few that have touched me over the past few months.
For preschoolers: My Grandma Loves to Play by Winifred “Oyoko” Loving. “What is hiding under the sheet?” Beautiful pictures accompany the possibilities until finally, the little girl exclaims “peek-a-boo” to “surprise” her grandmother.
For middle-schoolers: Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech. As Rosie tries to understand the changes in her relationship with her life-long, best pal, Bailey (who is a boy), she cooks with her Granny while Granny shares wisdom through stories from her own coming of age.
For adults: Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank. A nurse-soldier decides to end her tour in the Afghanistan war after her husband is killed in order to care for her 10 year old son. As a last resort to help her son heal, she decides to spend the summer in the Carolina lowcountry with her mom and dad who are estranged from one another. What unfolds is the healing power of love – especially among the generations.
For all generations: Wonder by R. J. Palacio. This book was chosen for the “One Book, One School” program at my children’s middle school; each child and adult in the school were expected to read the book and throughout the year, the book will be the focus of many discussions and events. Wonder is about a 5th grader with a severe facial deformity who goes from being home-schooled into a private school. The story unfolds from his fears to how he is received (or not), is bullied and defended and eventually to his success. The chapters transition seamlessly from the perspectives of many who are dear to him. This is a treasure to enjoy with those you love – perfect for extended families to read across the miles and then discuss together.