Everything is going well in eleven-year-old Annie's ordered life--until she finds out that her ailing grandmother is coming to live with the family. A virtual stranger, her grandmother takes over Annie's room, smokes in the house, runs her mother ragged and turns Annie's whole world on end. Annie fights to stay afloat as her problems, both at home and at school, multiply. In an attempt to help her cope with the changes, Annie's parents enroll her in a local genealogical society where she grudgingly embarks on a ...
Everything is going well in eleven-year-old Annie's ordered life--until she finds out that her ailing grandmother is coming to live with the family. A virtual stranger, her grandmother takes over Annie's room, smokes in the house, runs her mother ragged and turns Annie's whole world on end. Annie fights to stay afloat as her problems, both at home and at school, multiply. In an attempt to help her cope with the changes, Annie's parents enroll her in a local genealogical society where she grudgingly embarks on a journey to learn her family tree. In the process she discovers not only that her grandmother has a wealth of knowledge and stories about their shared family history, but that she was not always the angry old woman she seems to be. A humorous, fast-paced story that approaches a difficult subject in a novel way, The Gramma War will speak to all children who haven't had the chance to get to know their grandparents, and who sometimes wonder at life's fairness. In a time when extended families are spread around the globe and family ties are ever more tenuous, The Gramma War shows that we need to embrace the family experience, with all its blemishes.
"Offers a readable story about three generations living together and not always harmoniously."
"Will likely appeal to families dealing with agins grandparents; it represents a middle-class family going through an extremely difficult experience, and is honest about their range of emotions."
"Butcher has undertaken a difficult subject on which only a few children's authors have written powerfully... there is no doubt that the story will evoke much discussion in a class or literature circles."
Quill & Quire
"Most successful in evoking Annie's conflicted feelings."
Gramma is moving in and Annie's life is turning upside down. It would be easy for eleven-year-old Annie to blame all of her problems on Gramma, but deep down she knows that isn't the truth. Still, Annie's life has been in turmoil ever since her eighty-one year Gramma moved in. Now Annie has to share a room with her older sister and Annie's dear pet gerbils can't even be kept in the house. At the suggestion of a substitute teacher, Annie begrudgingly attends a local genealogical meeting. To her surprise, she immediately discovers a newfound interest in tracing her family roots. When Gramma learns of Annie's project she willingly shares recollections of her past. Annie embraces Gramma's memories and the two of them develop a bond. This briefly formed bond is quickly shattered, however, when Gramma suddenly becomes very ill. The resulting turmoil creates much strife, but it also strengthens Annie's appreciation of her life and everyone in it, especially Gramma. 2001, Orca Book Publishers, $8.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Twelve-year-old Annie Granville's world is in turmoil. Since her grandmother can no longer take care of herself, she is moving in with the family. Annie has to give up her room and share quarters with her older sister. Claire is a slob and has celebrity posters all over the walls, and has made it clear that she is not happy with the arrangement. Gramma is grumpy. She picks on Annie and smokes all day long while sitting in the living room staring out the window. Then Annie's favorite teacher gets sick and is replaced by a substitute. On top of it all, the reenactment group that she has been waiting two years to be old enough to join folds because of a lack of members. Her substitute teacher sees a change in her behavior, reads her journal, and calls Annie's parents. After a conference, he suggests that she join the Junior Genealogical Society. Annie and her friend Joel go to the meetings and she gets involved in her family's history. With the help of her Gramma, the girl not only learns about her family, but also a bit more about the woman's past. This is a heartwarming story about change in a young person's life and how she handles it with the love and support of her family.-Debbie Feulner, Northwest Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.