Intergenerational Reading Opportunities
Eugene’s Unsuspecting Journey; Choi, Heather and Bryson, Laura, Best Boy Publishing, 2013
Eugene’s Unsuspecting Journey is a meaningful intergenerational tale composed of whimsical illustrations, strong characters, and important values. Eugene eagerly engages in a relationship with an older farmer who provides him with lessons and inspiration. The farmer in turn gets to share his wisdom with the young boy, who otherwise, might not have learned the notion of purpose. This touching children’s story can be shared by all ages and is a wonderful read for intergenerational companions.
My Grandma Loves to Play; Loving,
Dear tiny angels, slippery tadpoles, and sugar bears everywhere! When I was little (just about your age), I visited my grandparents in New Bedford, Massachusetts for summer vacations. Grandma always had fun lessons waiting for us “city kids” She brushed our hair, ironed our underwear, and hung the laundry on the clothesline while holding clothespins in her mouth!
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages; Buscaglia, Leo, Slack Incorporated, 1982
This story by Leo Buscaglia is a warm, wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story about a leaf names Freddie. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.
The Keeping Quilt; Polacco, Patricia, Simon and Schuster, NY, NY 1988
The Keeping Quilt tells the story of a handmade quilt. Using an outgrown dress, a babushka brought from Russia, an uncle’s shirt, one aunt’s apron and another aunt’s nightgown, Anna’s mother creates a quilt for her daughter’s bed that lovingly binds six generations together.
The Blessing Cup; Polacco, Patricia, Simon and Schuster, NY, NY, 2013
The Blessing Cup is a companion piece to The Keeping Quilt. The Blessing Cup recounts Great-Grandmother Anna’s life in Russia, her family’s immigration to America as a result of the pogroms in Russia, and the Blessing Cup which the family lovingly brought to their new home first on 10th Avenue in New York City and then to Union City, Michigan. The Blessing Cup helped the family across multiple generations not only to remember their heritage, but also to know God’s blessings.
These Hands; Mason, Margaret H., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NY, NY, 2011
In These Hands, a grandfather and his grandson explore their evolving manual dexterity. The child marvels at his increased ability to use his hands together. Conversely, while the grandfather’s manual dexterity has lessened with age, his younger hands did help him to change life for his grandson.
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge; Fox, Mem, Kane/Miller Publishers, Bklyn, NY, 1985
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge recounts the adventures of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, a toddler, who lives “next door to an old people’s home.” That proximity enables each generation to enrich the other’s lives.
A Gift for Tia Rosa; Taha, Karen H., Bantam Skylark Book, NY, NY, 1986
A Gift for Tia Rosa helps the young reader to understand that a deceased person lives on in the skills which he/she has taught to someone else. Tia Rosa taught Carmela, her grandniece, to knit and when Carmela knits she immortalizes Tia Rosa with every “around, over, through, and pull.”
Dream Something Big; Aston, Dianna and Roth, Susan L.; Penguin Young Readers Group, 2011
Between 1921 and 1955, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia transformed broken glass, seashells, pottery, and a dream to “do something big” into a U.S. National Landmark. Readers watch the towers rise from his little plot of land in Watts, California, through the eyes of a fictional girl as she grows and raises her own children. Chronicled in stunningly detailed collage that mimics Rodia’s found-object art, this thirty-four-year journey becomes a mesmerizing testament to perseverance and possibility. A final, innovative “build-your-own-tower” activity makes this multicultural, intergenerational tribute a classroom natural and a perfect gift-sure to encourage kids to follow their own big dreams.
Granny Torelli Makes Soup; Creech, Sharon, Harper Collins, 2005
Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don’t always get along, that’s true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her interesting stories and family recipes. It’s easier to remember what’s important about love, life, and friendship while Granny Torrelli makes soup.
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World; Walter, Mildred Pitts, Amistad, 2010 (Reprint)
Sure, he can catch a greased pig at a local rodeo, but can he bake biscuits? Ten-year-old Justin struggles to “feel like a guy” in a family dominated by females. When he goes to spend a week at his grandfather’s ranch, he discovers there’s more to being a man than riding horses and tending to livestock.
Skilled Reader/Young Adult
You’re Smarter Than You Think; A Kid’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences; Armstrong, Thomas, PhD, Free Spirit Publishing, MN, 2003
You’re Smarter Than You Think; A kid’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences presents Dr. Howard Gardner’s innovative theory on how people learn. Gardner has theorized that people not only acquire knowledge in multiple ways, but that they also demonstrate their intelligence in multiple ways. One’s intelligence is not just demonstrated in good grades and IQ scores. It also is shown when one draws, plays musical instruments, swims, is interested in and sensitive to others, is aware of the environment etc. Learning about the eight different intelligences; discovering which intelligences best suit your learning style; and then using your intelligences to be more successful in life will enable the reader to recognize that he/she may be smarter than his/her GPA suggests.
Bud, Not Buddy; Curtis, Christopher Paul; Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1999
Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression. Once again Christopher Paul Curtis, author of the award-winning novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963, takes readers on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey.
The Fourteenth Goldfish; Holm, Jennifer L.; Random House Books for Young Readers, 2014
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.
The Giver; Lowry, Lois; HMH Books for Young Readers; Rep Mti edition, 2014
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
Being Mortal; Gawande, Atul; Picador, 2017
Is an accounting of the care and treatment of the elderly and the dying as it has evolved over the last century to what it is today and could become in the future. In the United States in the early 1900s, old people who were sick and poor – most were poor and many were sick – were institutionalized in poorhouses which provided little care and largely accelerated the decline of the sick and old. There was a great contrast between the treatment of the elderly in America and in Asia and India, cultures that revere their elderly and take them into their homes until they require advanced care.
Final Gifts; Callanan, Maggie and Kelley, Patricia; Simon & Schuster, 2012
In this moving and compassionate classic—now updated with new material from the authors—hospice nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life, drawn from more than twenty years’ experience tending the terminally ill.
The Longevity Economy; Coughlin, F. Joseph; PublicAffairs, NY, 2017
In The Longevity Economy, Coughlin provides the framing and insight business leaders need to serve the growing older market: a vast, diverse group of consumers representing every possible level of health and wealth, worth about $8 trillion in the United States alone and climbing.
The Sweetness of Forgetting; Harmel, Kristin; Gallery Books, NY, 2012
The Sweetness of Forgetting introduces the reader to Hope McKenna-Smith, a Cape Cod baker, and to her grandmother, Mamie. Mamie also is a baker and her French pastries are the mainstay of the bakery which Hope now manages because Mamie has begun to drift into the “haze of Alzheimer’s.” Their close bond enables Mamie to share her past memories with Hope and for Hope to learn some wonderful secrets about previous generations of her family.
The Ride of Our Lives; Leonard, Mike; Ballantine Books, NY, 2007
The Ride of Our Lives is a laughable account of a cross-country odyssey that humorist Mike Leonard, made with his parents, three grown sons, and a daughter-in-law. During that journey, Marge and Jack, Mike’s parents, share their whimsical view of life and times, while Mike shares how it was to grow up in their household.
Adriana Trigiani’s Valentine Collection: Very Valentine, Brava, Valentine, and The Supreme Macaroni Company; Trigiani, Adriana, HarperCollins, 2014 (e-book)
From New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani comes her beloved Valentine trilogy, now available in one volume for the first time. The eBook collection includes Very Valentine, Brava, Valentine, and The Supreme Macaroni Company.
Porch Lights; Frank, Dorothea Benton, William Morrow Paperbacks, 2013
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank is back home in the Carolina lowcountry, spinning a tale that brims with the warmth, charm, heart, and humor that has become her trademark. Porch Lights is a stirring, emotionally rich multigenerational story—a poignant tale of life, love, and transformation—as a nurse, returning to Sullivans Island from the Afghanistan War, finds her life has been irrevocably altered by tragedy…and now must rediscover love and purpose with the help of her son and aging mother.
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