They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and though sometimes a cover can draw me to a book, there have also been times I’m glad I’ve taken that advice to heart and started reading anyway. One of those times was with In Grandma’s Attic, the first book in the Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson. I first picked up an old copy of the book at a used book sale, and it sat in my bookshelf for at least a couple of years before I decided to pull it to read during our morning basket time. Once we started it, my kids did not want to stop–in fact, I ended up ordering the Grandma’s Attic Treasury (the first four stories in the series–republished with newer covers) as well as the later books, which have not been republished and are more difficult to find.
In Grandma’s Attic is a collection of stories (each one a chapter) that the author’s grandmother, Mabel, tells her about her childhood in Michigan in the 1800s. The stories often revolve around some sort of mischief Mabel and her friend, Sarah Jane, have gotten themselves into and are always entertaining. I was surprised at how much both of my children–an 11 year old boy and a 6 year old girl–were drawn in and interested! The stories do have a Christian message and Mabel’s parents often refer to scripture, but it doesn’t come across as overly preachy; it just comes across as good parenting instead of a story written to fit a moral lesson.
The second and third books in the series follow the same format, but beginning with the fourth book, young Arleta’s part (the “tell me a story, Grandma” part) is left out, and Mabel tells her own story. At this point we have read the first six books of the series and are about to start the seventh book, where Mabel is teaching and preparing to get married. My kids and I are totally invested in these characters, so we’re going to finish the whole series!
The short chapters in the Grandma’s Attic books make them great read alouds, even for young children, and kids will love to hear about what Mabel and her family and friends did for fun so long ago. The characters are engaging and at the end of each chapter you’ll be wanting to read just one more!