My Book Review of THE OIL CHANGE: Grandpa’s Garage

The Oil ChangeThe Oil Change: Grandpa’s Garage by D.A. Northup
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Memories & Learning

Yes, addressing the elephant in the room, I did edit this book, and it was written by my amazing husband. However, anyone who knows me is aware of my values and the level to which I hold my standards. I probably scrutinized this book more than most, not because my name is on it (which makes me tough enough), but also, it was written for young readers.

What I loved about this book was the relationship the grandparents, particular the grandpa, have with the grand(ren). There are many kids who don’t know the joys of this kind of companionship or the wealth this connection brings. I think this story does a great job showing the respect, friendship, and communication possible between generations, especially when separated from electronics.

As a woman with two daughters and mostly granddaughters, I appreciated the ambiguity of the child in the story. I liked how it was from the child’s perspective, allowing the young reader to place themself into the character. In addition, I liked the author noting how the grandmother and daughters were all capable of performing the regular automotive maintenance being taught. I have never believed gender should be a factor in education, no matter the subject.

This is a unique plot (and will make for a valuable collection of books). There are a lot of stories about how things work or what’s on the road and how they go. However, this is totally new in the fact it gives instructions to life skills while doing it in an entertaining way. The content is relatable and the deeper message (about sharing moments together) is as meaningful as the practical lesson.

This is written for middle graders. What that means is it targets kids around 7-12 years of age, but it has a more universal appeal (for example: our grandson – age 5 – really enjoyed it). It would be a fun family read, opening discussions about things, but it definitely has value for kids looking for an enjoyable book report for school. Clearly, I recommend it!

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