The Gramma War


170 pages
ISBN 1-55143-183-1
DDC jC813'.54




Reviewed by Carol L. MacKay

Carol L. MacKay is a children’s librarian living in Bawlf, Alberta.


Annie’s world has been invaded and her life turned upside down. Her
81-year-old chain-smoking grandmother has not only moved in, she’s
taken over Annie’s bedroom. And no one else in the family seems to
care. Annie’s parents don’t say a word when Gramma Granville
criticizes dinner every night, and her older sister Claire doesn’t
seem to mind Gramma’s television blaring full blast all day long.

With Gramma in the house, everything seems to go wrong. Annie’s pet
gerbils have to go because Gramma is allergic to them. Her favourite
teacher goes on sick leave. Then the historical re-enactment troupe,
“History Repeats Itself,” disbands just as Annie is about to turn 12
and is old enough to join it.

A substitute teacher recommends that Annie join the junior genealogy
club. In order to work on her family-tree project, however, Annie must
to talk to Gramma. Through the painful process of extracting information
from Gramma, Annie comes to learn a thing or two about her arch-nemesis
that she didn’t know. And while Gramma remains the same old crabby
person, Annie is able to change her negative outlook to a more positive

Kristin Butcher has a knack for realistic dialogue and credible action.
Her characters are well-rounded, believable, and engaging. Annie isn’t
a perfect kid, and Gramma certainly isn’t the perfect grandmother, but
readers will feel a connection with both, especially with Annie, because
of their respective quirks and imperfections. Highly recommended.


Butcher, Kristin., “The Gramma War,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,