It seems like years ago there were hardly any YA books that featured parents, let along grandparents. Remember the good old days of Gossip Girl and paranormal romance where the protagonists just ran wild/amok with supernatural creatures and their parents were none the wiser (if they were given any page time at all)? I feel like in the past 5 years we’ve seen so much more representation of parents and family systems in YA which is fantastic, but I feel like it’s still somewhat rare to find a YA book that prominently features grandparents.
As someone who’s grandparents played a huge role in my upbringing (and honestly are still in my business lol) I love seeing protagonists who are close with their grandparents, and have slowly started seeing it appear more, especially in books with diverse protagonists (which I can attest to personally as well- my Hispanic grandparents are the ones who were always super involved and it’s definitely significantly culturally driven). I wanted to spotlight a few books that have come out in the first half of 2018 that feature characters with either strong relationships with their grandparents, or who spend a significant amount of the book developing relationships with their grandparents.Do you have other recommendations of YA books that feature grandparents? Let me know in the comments!
The Exact Opposite of Okay features a kick-ass grandmother, and she is my hero.
Going to look it up on goodreads now!
Have you seen the movie Coco? Obviously it’s not a book but it has amazing extended family characters.
Yes I LOVED Coco! You’re right, it does such a great job of not only featuring grandparents but even great grandparents and others.
This is such a great post! I love books with active, three-dimensional grandparents and yet right now the only one I can think of is Michelle Benoit in Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – which is probably a sign I need to read more books with grandparents in them! Not a book but one of my favourite fictional grandparents is Moana’s grandmother. I love a kooky grandma.
Oooooh that is another great suggestion, I completely forgot about Scarlet’s grandmother! Ugh Moana is SO GOOD and her grandmother was hilarious. Someone else also pointed out the strong grandparent themes in Coco too- Disney is really going strong with their grandparent game lately!
This is a great topic. My grandparents have always been a big part of my life as well.
I would add Wing Jones to this list. They live in a multigenerational household that includes grandparents, and they play a big role!
Ohhhhh I haven’t heard of Wing Jones, I’ll have to look it up!
I definitely also enjoy that families are being included more in YA books, and especially being shown in a positive light. It was really frustrating for me to read stories about teenagers acting way older than their age and having no supervision at all.
I feel like that was such a trend in the mid-2000s and in some ways I get why- it’s easier to write plots when you don’t have to navigate things like curfews and parental supervision! I’m so glad though that realistic family dynamics are becoming the norm now, and I love too seeing how they’re represented among different family structures and cultures!
I love this post! I also had wonderful grandparents (my maternal grandma is still living and just as awesome), so any story featuring loving grandparents has a special place in my heart. The ones that come to mind first are from Moana and Coco. The latter especially got to me.
Also should add a book: I wasn’t wowed by the novel, but I liked the relationship between Jacob and his grandfather in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
That’s a great addition! I read that book so long ago I completely forgot, but you are right, it’s another one that prominently features a grandparent.
Yes, Disney has really been on point with the grandparents in movies lately! Coco was so bittersweet but I did love how both it and Moana showed what a huge role grandparents can play in a child’s/young adult’s life.