(Photo compliments of Morguefile.com)
GRANDFAMILIES – WHAT ARE THEY?
There is a growing trend in America—grandparents raising grandchildren.
According to the AARP’s Grandfacts, “Across the United States, almost 7.8 million children are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders, with more than 5.8 million children living in grandparents’ homes and nearly 2 million children living in other relatives’ homes. These families are often called grandfamilies.”
A few years ago our family was a grandfamily. Our son and his family needed us, so our granddaughters lived with my husband and me intermittently for five months. It was one of the toughest times in my life. Between temper tantrums, dirty diapers, tears and disciplining negative behavior, I was exhausted and my husband was crabbier than me. We never thought we’d be raising small children in our 50’s.
Just like other difficult times in my life, I chose to find a positive attitude. One of the positive things during that difficult time was spending time reading to the girls and writing stories with my eldest granddaughter. That’s how ECLAIR was born. She’s a seven-year-old precocious girl who’s the main character in my children’s chapter book series. My granddaughter and our experiences together helped birth these fun books.
Eclair, pronounced like the pastry, goes to live with her eccentric grandma on a farm. The target audience for this book is for early girl readers in the first, second, or third grade.
Alzheimer’s and Grandparents
Last week I saw these headlines:
“Women who take care of their grandchildren one day per week are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found.”
It’s true. Check out this link and watch the video: https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/23546294/grandparent-babysitters-less-likely-to-develop-alzheimers/
This prompted me to make the decision to watch my grands one day a week for the rest of the summer. Just think of the stories I’ll be able to write! (I’ll let you know in the fall how well it worked. I won’t lie, I’m a little apprehensive as they’re two, four, and nine.)
I think that more grandparents are involved in caring for their grandchildren today as a result of unemployment and difficult financial times. Many parents can’t afford day care so grandparents help.
What I Need
Three books in the series have been written, but this summer I will launch the first book, ECLAIR GOES TO STELLA’S. (The other two are waiting for illustrations.)
My hope is that Éclair’s story will be one that grandparents and parents can share with their grandchildren and children and maybe laugh.
Before I launch this novel, I’m looking for parents and grandparents who have early-reader children or grands who would be interested in reading ECLAIR’s story and providing reviews. There are only TEN short chapters so it shouldn’t take long. I am giving away TWENTY advanced reader copies of the book to those who are interested. Are you? Do you know of someone who is? If so, please leave a comment below or forward this to your friend who might be interested.
The children’s market is a new one for me, but one I’m excited about. I hope you’ll be Eclair’s fan.
Here’s what a few readers said about Éclair Goes to Stella’s:
“More and more, grandparents today are assuming the role of part-time or even full-time caregivers for their grandkids. In Michelle Weidenbenner’s Eclair Goes to Stella’s, we see how one grandmother bravely and creatively steps into this role to help her family through a difficult situation. I’m certain that children everywhere will be able to relate to the range of emotions that little Éclair faces as she first struggles to adjust to her new living arrangements then begins to welcome the love and care her grandmother offers. Eclair Goes to Stella’s is funny, sad, heart warming, and genuine all at once!” ~ Renee Gray-Wilburn, co-author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (Pix-N-Pens, 2012).
Crystal Bowman, award-winning children’s author, said, “I just read through your entire story and all I can say is WOW. You are a wonderful, gifted writer and this is a great story.” She added this endorsement: “Michelle’s story is well written and engaging. She does a wonderful job of developing the characters and deals with difficult issues in a kid-friendly way. Readers will be quickly drawn into this story and want to keep reading. There are so many dimensions to this story–it is filled with humor, action, and emotion–a great read!”
Will you join my street team? Comment below if you’d like a digital copy.