Thursday, January 25, 2007

Twenty-first Century Grandparents

In days of old, grandmothers in children's literature were rolypoly women who wore their gray hair in buns and baked cookies. Grandfathers built birdhouses and maybe smoked a pipe.

No more.

In yesterday's post I told you about grandparents who run a haven for fantasy creatures. Grandma and Grandpa are tough cookies because those fantasy creatures are not warm and fuzzy types by a longshot.

A set of grandparents in Gregor the Overlander and its sequels help administer a city while waiting for their granddaughter to become queen. And the grandmother is the military mind behind the place.

But the most unusual grandparents I've seen lately are the evil grandfathers in The Fetch and Magic Lessons. These guys go after their own descendants.

I rather like this, myself, but I do have to wonder if this shift in the treatment of grandparents has some deeper meaning. Probably not.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I don't know, Gail. I think that it may have a deeper significance. After a decline in grand-parental influence in the 1950s-1970s, I think everyone knows someone who was partially raised by a grandparent (usually due to an addicted parent) nowadays. They've become quite prevalent the past 20 years or so in many young people's lives.

Also, as people live longer the toughness of old people is more and more apparent. The boomers are getting older, but not retiring quietly. They're still as vocal and in-your-face as they were in the 60s :)

So 2 things happening, I think.