By Frank Samson
Humans are hardwired to love stories; some of our favorites come from our grandparents. If you’ve ever wished your grandparents had written down their life stories, start writing yours. And if your parents are still around, help them write theirs. It may sound daunting – putting a whole lifetime on paper – but a fresh new crop of books make it easy and fun.
The titles are too numerous to list here, but check out the three best sellers below. All of them ask memory-jogging questions that will have you writing down things you didn’t even know you remembered.
The Grandmother Book: A Book about You for Your Grandchild is a great way for grandmothers to pass along their story to future generations. Directed at baby boomer grandmothers, this book uses thoughtful, provocative and amusing questions to kick-start grandma’s storytelling. The story will include coming-of-age moments, life-changing events, family anecdotes and historical data. Authors Andy and Susan Hilford equipped the book with spaces for special photographs, report cards, family tree and other keepsakes.
Memories for My Grandchild: A Keepsake to Remember is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Grandparenting. This spiral-bound journal uses guided questions and prompts to help you tell your story to future generations. The book’s archival, acid-free paper helps preserve your memories; the creamy smooth paper is pen-friendly; and there’s a large pocket in back for storing keepsakes and notes. Written by Suzanne Zenkel, illustrated by Margaret Rubiano.
From Your Grandfather: A Gift of Memory for My Grandchild, by Lark, gives grandfathers their own special vehicle for sharing their story. With questions written from the grandchild’s perspective, this book makes it fun and easy to delve into family history. There’s space for Grandpa to recount the lessons he learned from his parents — and grandparents — how he met Grandma, and his experiences with fatherhood. And since this is the grandkid’s book, there are questions about when he first saw his grandchild and what he likes best about being a grandparent.