Celebrating Intergenerational Stories

By Megan Ciskowski, Associate Publicist

Let’s face it. Grandparents are the best. They share very unique, very powerful connections with the generations that follow. Between fishing trips, board games, and epic fantasy battles, a grandparent can infuse moments with adventure and warmth. These moments become treasured memories that remind us how much we can love someone else.

Today we explore fiction and nonfiction titles that celebrate these relationships. Fill your shelves with these meaningful, heartwarming stories that readers will want to share with their own grandparents. And don’t forget to observe Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, September 12th!

Picture Books

The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Khoa Le

Interest Level: K – Grade 3
Reading Level: Grade 2

Drawn from author Kao Kalia Yang’s childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee, this moving picture book portrays a family with a great deal of love and little money. Weaving together Kalia’s story with that of her beloved grandmother, the book moves from the jungles of Laos to the family’s early years in the United States. When Kalia becomes unhappy about having to do without and decides she wants braces to improve her smile, it is her grandmother—a woman who has just one tooth in her mouth—who helps her see that true beauty is found with those we love most. Stunning illustrations from Vietnamese illustrator Khoa Le bring this intergenerational tale to life.

Teacher Resources

Find discussion guides and more for The Most Beautiful Thing here!

Elmer and Grandpa Eldo by David McKee

Interest Level: PreK – Grade3
Reading Level: Grade 2

Elmer spends the day with his Grandpa Eldo. He has great fun reminding Eldo of all the things they used to do together, but is Eldo quite as forgetful as Elmer thinks? He may be old, but he is an elephant, after all, and elephants never forget. Do they?

Encyclopedia of Grannies by Eric Veillé

Interest Level: PreK – Grade 2
Reading Level: Grade 2

Why do grannies always tell us to speak up? Why do they have creases on their faces? Are grannies flexible? How do you cheer up a sad granny? How old are grannies, actually? Eric Veillé explains it all in this offbeat book for the extended family to chuckle over—no matter what kind of grandma you have, are, or would like to be.

Old Man of the Sea by Stella Elia and illustrated by Weberson Santiago

Interest Level: K – Grade2
Reading Level: Grade 2

Every Sunday, Grandpa waited for me in his room, and I took my place at the foot of the bed. There were days when Grandpa wanted to talk, and days when we sat in silence. Then one day, Grandpa began telling me stories about his life at sea—tales of love and adventure and danger on the ocean waves. And that’s when I learned who my grandpa really was . . .

Where Is Grandma? by Peter Schössow

Interest Level: K – Grade 5
Reading Level: Grade 2

Henry visits his grandmother in the hospital and decides to find her room alone. The result is an adventure, on which Henry finds friends, humor, lots of information, and—at last—Grandma.

Can You Whistle, Johanna? by Ulf Stark and illustrated by Anna Höglund

Interest Level: K – Grade 5
Reading Level: Grade 2

Berra wants a grandfather, so he goes to the retirement home to try to find one. Ideally one who eats pig’s trotters, invites you to tea, and can teach you to whistle. This is an international award-winner from one of the world’s great writers.

Middle Grade

Eddie Whatever by Lois Ruby

Interest Level: Grade 5 – Grade 8
Reading Level: Grade 5

Thirteen-year-old Eddie needs to do a community service project in preparation for his bar mitzvah. He ends up volunteering at a retirement home, where intrigues and hijinks upend all his assumptions about the elderly.

Teacher Resources

Find a free discussion guide for Eddie Whatever here!

Into the Wind by William Loizeaux and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6
Reading Level: Grade 4

A novel about the unlikely friendship between a boy and an elderly woman. Both moving and joyful, this is a poignant story about loss and love, and the surprising bonds that can grow between the old and young.

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5
Reading Level: Grade 3

Yu’er and her grandpa live in a small neighborhood in Beijing, where there’s a story around every corner. Celebrate the magic in everyday life in this gorgeous collection of comics from master cartoonist Nie Jun.

The Runaways by Ulf Stark and illustrated by Kitty Crowther

Interest Level: K – Grade 5
Reading Level: Grade 2

Grandpa hates being in hospital. He thinks only of the place he was happiest—the island where he used to live. He wants to go back, but they won’t let him out of the hospital. So Gottfried Junior, his namesake, helps Grandpa make a plan to run away. They think of everything. Their deception is so complete that when Gottfried Junior finally decides to tell the truth, no one believes him.


This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton

Coming out February 1st 2022!

Interest Grade Level 5 – 8
Reading Grade Level 5

When Archie’s beloved grandpa is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Archie tries to slow the progression of his grandpa’s memory loss through shared role-playing fantasies. But he has to face the reality of what he’s losing.

Find more Booklists on the Lerner blog here.

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