Book Reviews

Praise for Zap The Grandma Gap: Connect To Your Family By Connecting Them To Their Family

Shannon Combs Bennett "If you have children at home, or grandkids who visit, I would recommend this book to get you started down the path of sharing your family history in new and old ways. It is well-organized, informative, and eye-opening at times. The ideas are innovative and helped me move into new ways of motivating and inspiring my kids. Let's just say that their summer break just got busy."

Edith Wagner

Danica Baird

Helen Tovey,
editor of Family Tree Magazine UK I am loving your book - heartwarming, realistic and inspiring #familyhistory tips for kids! Thank you :)


Leland Meitzler the Grandma Gap: Connecting with Your Family by Connecting Them to Their Family History takes an old idea and breathes new life into sharing family history. In this new and lively book, Janet offers some of the most creative and inspiring ideas for getting children and grandchildren actively involved in their family history. However, the ideas in this book go beyond a few simple strategies by suggesting more than a few ways to make family history an integral part of the family members' daily lives.

Bobbi King. The book is full of ideas for engaging the younger generation in remembering their past families. This is an easy-to-read book, and would be a good gift for folks who are not heavily invested in genealogy, but who could use a nudge reminding them of the value of family history and the old stories.

Personal email: Lastly -- about your wonderful tips that I've tried and which have worked. Here are some examples..

I've dug out my Reader's Digest Cookery Year from the 1970s and baked the jumbles with one daughter (my mum always used to bake these for us when we were kids) and in reminiscing about this it led on to all sorts of other family stories -- as happens!

I 'walked the walk' when they were around (usually I do my fh when they're out at hockey etc) and the same daughter joined in (she offered!) with helping scanning.

I sang (very badly!) 'Over the sea to sky' to the other daughter -- as my mum's mum used to sing it to her when she was little.

More than anything you changed my attitude, really encouraging me, so that I've been just dropping bits of fh into casual random conversations much more than I would usually -- and they've liked chatting about it, reflecting on it and joining in. Our family is a very complicated one, and I found your realistic attitude very heartening too -- ie that you need to share and learn from the good and the bad parts of the past.

Amy Coffin Janet Hovorka gets it. She understands the value of family history and its impact on our lives. Genealogy isn't just a hobby. It's a means to uncover the knowledge that can influence who we are and how we comprehend our world. Unfortunately, most people don't discover the joys of family history until much later in life. When our relatives die, we lose their family memories, experiences, recipes and other elements of our heritage. To ensure family history is preserved, we need to pass our knowledge and wisdom on to our children so they can learn to appreciate genealogy.

However, kids have a tendency to run away from whatever mom, dad, grandma and grandpa think is cool. How do we get our broods interested in family history? Fortunately, Janet Hovorka's book comes to the rescue. Zap the Grandma Gap is a handy toolbox brimming with inspiration and ideas for getting the "family" into family history. You'll be grateful for the guidance as well as the casual and supportive way in which it is delivered.

Lisa Louise Cooke you are looking for concrete ideas for sharing your family history and inspiring the next generation, look no further than this book. The personal stories and worthwhile activities make this an enjoyable read, and an ongoing resource to every genealogist. Janet's passion for the power of family history in the lives of today's busy families shines throughout the pages!

James Tanner The book turned out to be delightful. What a gem. It does appear to be more than a little biographical but that adds to the appeal. Even before I finished the book, my wife picked it up and read it also. She was equally impressed by the ideas Janet has about sharing genealogy. ... The book is easy to read and has a lot of activities and suggestions that you will want to return to frequently for additional ideas. The book is a breath of fresh air in the genealogical community and I hope you have the opportunity to read it.

Carolyn Murphy Great new book by Janet Hovorka Check it out. Great ideas to create healthy family bonds.

Suzanne Curley, Director, Riverton FamilySearch Library.Janet has woven together a masterful tapestry of family history threads that will bind your family for eternity.This book is a must-read for everyone who treasures family history and wants to make it come alive for future generations.

Holly T. Hansen, President Family History Expos Inc. This is a winning idea book for bringing families together. There is nothing more exciting to me than spending time with my grandchildren and sharing stories with them. They love it, I love, and their parents love it! Zap The Grandma Gap is not only a good read but a great reference book for creating fun family centered activities that treasures and builds firm family values.

Valerie Elkins, researcher Advantage Genealogy. Janet Hovorka's new book, Zap the Grandma Gap is sure to be a hit. Not only is the book is full of fun and useful ways to get the whole family excited about their family history, but reminds us of why we do family history in the first place.

Praise for the Workbook:

Leland Meitzler, This workbook is so much more than the traditional guide to pedigrees and worksheets. This book offers FUN! The first section gets everyone thinking, brainstorming, about their family. Then there are the projects. This is where family history becomes exciting. Help to create visual displays, take an heirloom inventory, or work with social networks--this is where the kids may teach the adults a thing or two. The book will even help you work on organization skills, not by telling someone what to do, but by seeking their input. Learn to let youth find their own way, where the adult helps to nurture a sense of accomplishment. When it comes to making family history fun for the youth, Janet Hovorka is as creative as I have found. Her ideas strike at the heart of encouragement through participation.

James Tanner,

Dick Eastman, Comments included: Mary Kinsey said... I heard Janet speak at the North Florida Genealogy Conference in Jacksonville several weeks ago. If the book is like her, it should be dynamic and very down to earth. She is knowledgeable and very interesting.

Sue Maxwell, I have the book "Zap The Grandma Gap" by Janet Hovorka which was published earlier this year, and love it. Janet has a great love for family and her enthusiasm shines through on every page. If you are looking for ways to get your children and/or grandchildren involved in Family History, this book and the new accompanying activity books will get you started. Check these out and plan some great family activities.

Stephanie Pitcher Fishman, I love to learn about new resources for introducing children to their family’s history. There is a lack of good, solid, FUN materials {in my opinion} to really engage kids in the hobby of genealogy. When you find one you have to share it. Janet Hovorka of Family Chart Masters and author of Zap The Grandma Gap has done it again!

Shannon Combs Bennett, If you read the book you should remember all the creative ideas she gave you on documenting and sharing your family with the next generation. Well, this book carries that theme on with worksheets, activities, and ideas to make those suggestions come to life. It is broken into easily digestible sections so anyone is sure to find something they can do. … I particularly enjoyed the section on old games. My kids and I had a blast playing games from when I was a kid over the summer. … You could keep yourself busy for years without worry. I really want to make the scavenger hunt game for my next family reunion! … So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and do something great with the children in your life.

Shannon Combs Bennett, It was my pleasure to review these child friendly workbooks and put them to the test with my own kids. Boy did they devour the books!... I particularly liked the variety of things to do inside the books. My kids have a wide age gap but they each were able to find parts that interested them. …These books are a great way to engage and educate children about their ancestors. Making history fun is always important to grab a child’s imagination and attention. This series certainly does that. More importantly it gives them a good grasp at basic research skills, historical context, social history, and genealogy. Hopefully we will see more of these workbooks in the future!