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An Exquisite Touchstone Text for Memoir

I’ve long enjoyed reading aloud from What You Know First and When the Relatives Came when teaching memoir. I now have another text, Grandma’s Scrapbook written by Josephine Nobisso and illustrated by Maureen Hyde, that has been added to my list of favorite memoir touchstone texts.

While Nobisso’s book is not new (It was published in 1990.), it’s new to me.  The language in Grandma’s Scrapbook is exquisite.  It is written with the cadence that defines the way in which memoirs ought to be written.

Here are some examples of the incredible prose, and accompanying illustrations, from Grandma’s Songbook:

I suggest reading this book aloud a few times to your class, along with whatever other touchstone texts you wish to share with them when you begin a memoir unit of study.  Grandma’s Scrapbook contains the kind of writing most novice memoirists aspire to write.

A review copy of Grandma’s Scrapbook was provided by Gingerbread House Books, who also provided permission to include the above images in this post.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.

2 thoughts on “An Exquisite Touchstone Text for Memoir Leave a comment

  1. We have been fortunate enough to have Josephine come to our schools every year for the past several years and do workshops with our teachers and students. I would say she has been coming for the past 10 or so years. SHe is wonderful. So glad you loved her book. She is a fabulous author and she is just as fabulous in person too!


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