Grandparenting Books: The Short List

Not All Grandparenting Books Make the Cut, But These Certainly Did

As baby boomers become grandparents, the number of grandparenting books is booming as well. Since our time is limited -- so many balls to toss and cookies to bake -- our reading material should be top notch. We need books to teach us, inspire us and make us laugh. Here are a dozen that won't let you down.

  • 01 of 11
    book about the joys and challenges of grandparenting
    The spiritual and practical sides of grandparenting are explored in Wondrous Child. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    If you were amazed by the new dimensions grandparenting created in your life, this is the book for you. The 30 essays contained in Wondrous Child depict a variety of grandparenting journeys, each described with eloquence and honesty. It's not a book about the nuts-and-bolts of being a grandparent, but a book about the heart and brains and guts of the experience and how it ends up being entirely magical, in spite of the difficulties that may be encountered.

  • 02 of 11
    Grandloving is a book about making memories with your grandchildren.
    Grandloving is a book about making memories with your grandchildren. Photo © Heartstrings Press

    A mother, daughter and a daughter-in-law collaborated with several hundred grandparents to create this book. Grandloving should be read, then browsed and read again so that you don't miss any of the good advice or fun activities. Better yet, read with highlighter in hand, so that you can find your favorite parts again. 

  • 03 of 11
    book by Anne Lamott about becoming a grandmother
    The son who was the subject of Lamott's book Operating Instructions makes Lamott a grandmother and inspires a new book. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    Anne Lamott may be an acquired taste, but millions of readers have found her musings on motherhood and spirituality to their taste. Some Assembly Required chronicles the first year of Lamott's grandson Jax and her first year as a grandmother. It's a sequel of sorts to 1993's Operating Instructions, about the first year of her son's life and her year as an overwhelmed and insecure but very loving mother. Parts of both books are laugh-out-loud funny. Other parts are merely poignant...MORE and oh-so-true. 

  • 04 of 11
    Be the best grandparent
    This little book from the UK is packed with helpful information. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    The Grandparents' Association, a UK group, is responsible for this volume, which is well-organized, readable and interesting. Each chapter begins with a preview and ends with a checklist that serves as a kind of summary. In between is a lot of good advice, as well as little snippets of real-life stories that support the points being made in the book. 

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  • 05 of 11
    book about things to do with grandchildren
    This book is chock full of "Great Stuff to Do With Your Grandkids.". Courtesy of Amazon.com

    Subtitled "Great Stuff to do With Your Grandkids," this is a collection of stories from real-life grandmothers about what they do with their grandchildren. These are not traditional grandmothers, although they do enjoy some traditional activities with their grandchildren. Reading Super Granny will give you valuable ideas for things you can do with your grandchildren, and you'll enjoy the meet-up with some fascinating grandmothers. 

  • 06 of 11
    first-person accounts of being a grandmother
    First-person stories about grandmothering make this book both touching and humorous. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    Is there anything better than being a grandmother? If so, maybe it is sharing the experience with the women writers who contributed to this book and who will soon feel like old friends. Eye of My Heart delineates the many joys of grandmothering without glossing over the stresses, and the luminous quality of the writing will make you want to read it over and over again. Read full review.

  • 07 of 11
    photo book about grandmothers
    First-class photographs and fascinating narrative combine to make a winning book about grandmothers. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    You won't want to take your eyes off the lovely photographs in this book long enough to read the stories. When you finally do, you'll be glad you did. You'll enjoy reading about the famous and not-so-famous and their grandparenting philosophies. You'll learn that there are lots of ways to be a grandmother. Some of them involve roping cows or discussing theology rather than baking cookies. 

  • 08 of 11
    the grandparents handbook
    Grandparents will find a smorgasbord of delights in The Grandparents Handbook. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    The term eclectic doesn't even do justice to this book, which combines helpful advice with activities for grandparents to do with grandchildren, with some some first-person grandparenting accounts thrown in. The Grandparents Handbook is a semi-organized collection of grandparenting miscellanea that will delight those with a love for the random discovery. Read full review

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  • 09 of 11
    New Age Nanas was created from interviews with over one thousand Australian grandmothers.
    Grandmothers in the 21st Century don't parent in the past tense. Photo #&0169 New Age Nanas

    Over 1000 Australian women were surveyed as a first step in compiling this volume. Some were chosen for follow-up interviews. The result is a book that is both global and specific and reflects exactly how much grandmothering has changed in this new age.   

  • 10 of 11
    grandparenting a child with special needs
    A book of great advice for grandparents dealing with those diagnoses they didn't really want to hear. Courtesy of Amazon.com

    As hard as all grandparents wish for health for their grandchildren, not everyone gets that wish. This book is a special gift for those who don't, for those who have a grandchild with special needs. Charlotte E. Thompson, M.D., offers advice about coping with the diagnosis and exploring medical and legal resources, as well as providing actual care for the child.

  • 11 of 11
    humorous book about being a grandmother
    Good advice mixes with excellent humor in this unique grandparenting book. Photo © Chronicle Books

    Many grandparenting books treat grandparenting with either great seriousness or sappy sentimentality. The Granny Diaries does not. The anecdotes can be hilarious, but this little tome has substance as well. New grandmothers will find this book valuable, and all grandparents will find that it's a hoot.