Grandma According to Me


Sometimes it’s impossible to know exactly how an idea sprang to life. But my first published book came from a memorable conversation my mother and her friends had about their grandchildren. One told his grandma her skin didn’t fit her face. Another worried her grandmother’s face had cracked - yikes!


My mother asked me to write a nonfiction book explaining to kids why old people get wrinkles. I tried. I used all my reporter’s research skills. Try as I might, it didn’t feel like a book that would fascinate kids—or me!


Then I realized something important: my mother saw herself differently from the way the rest of us did. She saw wrinkles, we saw softness. The parts of her she didn’t like, we thought were wonderful.


Sitting on our camp porch, I wrote the first draft—a back-and-forth between two points of view, those of a granddaughter and her grandmother. While a book can’t capture a whole relationship, this was my best way of telling my mother how much I loved her—just the way she was.


Copyright © 2008 Karen Magnuson Beil. All rights reserved.