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The God of Grandma Forever
     

The God of Grandma Forever

by Margriet Hogeweg, Handprint, Nancy Forest-Flier (Translator)
 
Ninety-three-year-old Grandma Forever has not always lived with Maria and her parents. Before she came, the attic had more or less belonged to Maria. She and her friend Jacob had played there for hours. Maria had often gone there alone to think and to clear her head. So when her grandmother moves in, Maria is very disappointed. Aside from taking up Maria�s precious

Overview

Ninety-three-year-old Grandma Forever has not always lived with Maria and her parents. Before she came, the attic had more or less belonged to Maria. She and her friend Jacob had played there for hours. Maria had often gone there alone to think and to clear her head. So when her grandmother moves in, Maria is very disappointed. Aside from taking up Maria�s precious private space, Grandma Forever is not always nice to her granddaughter. She�s a cranky old lady with an eccentric streak and hypochondriacal tendencies. Nonetheless, Maria grows to love her and her Bible stories; she even tries to listen in on Grandma�s religious radio programs. When Grandma Forever dies after a few months, Maria discovers that she misses her grandma very much, and she finally comes to terms with their differences � and similarities.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"Maria has two grandmother." So begins this unusual family tale. Perhaps some of its special flavor comes from the fact that its original publication was in the Netherlands. Preparing to sit down and write this review, I found myself rereading snatches of it in order to finally grasp its strange essence. I also kept returning to the image of my grandfather's death at home when I was eleven. But I couldn't fit myself into the image Grandma Forever attaches to Maria of "sassy monkey." Told straight—Maria, at about ten years old, likes the idea of having her grandmother come live with her family, but not in "her" attic. Her families' attic has always been Maria's special, private play and "think" space. She and her friend, Jacob played pirate and other games there. It also was her special place to doze in an old hammock whilst sorting out the piles of thoughts in her head—a task that seems to need doing regularly and often. Maria visits her family's cemetery plots—maternal and paternal—and regularly carries out conversations with her interred grandparents. The book lets us know that there is a strained relationship between the parents; that theirs is a middle class family; that Maria's mother often dresses up with much lipstick and bangles for a movie night out with her girl friends; and that Maria is indeed a delightful "sassy monkey" very close to her devoted father. 2001 (orig. 1999), Front Street, $14.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Carolyn DCL Michaels
VOYA
I think this book should be for teens thirteen and older because it is a complex story. You don't always know what is real and what is not. Is Grandma Bedstone really answering or is Maria just imagining it? The book is also odd because Grandma Forever is such a crab but she tells interesting Bible stories that change Maria's life. The book is unpredictable and I've never read anything else like it. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2001, Front Street, 112p, $14.95. Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Miriam Levy, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Feisty and imaginative Maria is unhappy when the attic, her special space, becomes a room for her 93-year-old grandmother. She is puzzled by Grandma Forever's querulous comments and by her frailty. She is even more curious about her frequent references to God, the House of the Lord, and biblical events, as Maria has not been raised to practice religion. The outspoken girl has several run-ins with the elderly woman, and just as affection and compromise seem to be emerging, Grandma Forever dies. Maria then must resolve her feelings toward both her grandmother and the God of the title. Though the text is translated from the Dutch, it has a homey feel, and the setting is an indeterminate urban area. Maria's age is never given, but she seems no more than eight, a bit younger than readers able to handle the text independently. The child's strength, her indomitable spirit, and her independence in finding her own resolution to losing her grandmother are the striking aspects of the novel. The quirky grandmother is real enough also, although children familiar with the Bible stories Grandma tells may be surprised by her unorthodox and altered versions of them. This is a worthy, well-translated effort that has engaging characters, and while the audience is uncertain, there is certainly room here for kids to consider the overlapping nature of conflict and loss.-Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781886910690
Publisher:
Boyds Mills Press
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.49(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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