Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Janet Hovorka Announces New Activity Book Series for Youth

I received this press release this morning from my friend and colleague, Janet Hovorka:


CONTACT: Janet Hovorka, 801-472-1091,

New Activity Book Series Brings Youthful Fun To Family History
Cedar Hills, UT – November 6th, 2013 –
Studies have shown that greater knowledge about family history especially strengthens and empowers youth by creating self-esteem, resilience and a greater sense of control over their lives.  Learning about the family’s past also strengthens the relationships between living family members by creating a shared experience and core identity that no one else in the world can duplicate. 

To help families achieve these great benefits authors Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade have developed a new series of “Zap The Grandma Gap--My Ancestor” activity books.  The first four books, My British Ancestor, My Civil War Ancestor, My Swedish Ancestor and My German Ancestor are 52 page activity books designed for 6-14 year olds with puzzles, activities, games and recipes combined with questions and learning opportunities about specific ancestors and the culture that surrounded them.  Timelines, paper dolls, coloring pages, maps, fairy tales, music, dot to dots and crossword puzzles combine to give youth the full picture of what their ancestors’ lives were like.  When pre-ordered now, the books will arrive in time to prompt questions around the Thanksgiving table.  Or they can become the perfect Christmas gift for children and grandchildren that will create stronger bonds in modern families by encouraging the whole family to learn about their ancestors together.  Sample pages from the books can be viewed on the website and blog at where they join other online and print resources to help families connect to each other by connecting to their past.   

With the My British Ancestor Activity Book youth can:
  • ·         Discover online and offline resources for finding more information about your British roots
  •         Compare British Schools to today’s schools
  • ·         Solve puzzles about different British homes
  • ·         Complete a crossword puzzle about British words your ancestors used
  • ·         Learn about and participate in a British holiday
  • ·         Plan a proper British family history tea party
  • ·         Play British games your ancestors may have played
  • ·         And explore many other activities

With the My German Ancestor Activity Book youth can:
  • ·         Record how you are related to your German ancestor
  • ·         Try some German recipes
  • ·         Read a German Fairy Tale your ancestors might have known.
  • ·         Color and cut out German paper dolls to tell the stories of your ancestors
  • ·         Collect documents about your German ancestor’s life
  • ·         Make a Schultute School Bag like your ancestors may have received for school.
  • ·         Explore some of the qualities you share with your German Ancestor
  • ·         And explore many other activities

With the My Civil War Ancestor Activity Book youth can:
  • ·         Discover online and offline resources for finding more information about your Civil War ancestors
  • ·         Follow a dot to dot about an important Civil War landmark
  • ·         Try some of the food eaten by the Civil War soldiers
  • ·         Learn some Civil War songs and bugle calls
  • ·         Create a military band with homemade instruments
  • ·         Record the battles in which your ancestors were involved
  • ·         Write a eulogy for your Civil War ancestor
  • ·         And explore many other activities

With the My Swedish Ancestor Activity Book youth can:
  • ·         Place your Swedish ancestor in the context of broader Swedish history
  • ·         Complete a crossword puzzle about Swedish words your ancestors used
  • ·         Learn about and create items for a Swedish holiday
  • ·         Color and cut out Swedish paper dolls to tell the stories of your ancestors
  • ·         Write a letter to your Swedish ancestor
  • ·         Design and color a drawing of a Dala horse such as your ancestor might have played with
  • ·         Involve your whole family in the fun of learning about your Swedish ancestors
  • ·         And explore many other activities

The “My Ancestor” activity books are designed to give kids ownership of their own family history.  “These books help young kids take the lead in learning about their family history for themselves,” says Hovorka.  “As they accomplish the activities together with the help of their parents and grandparents, they strengthen modern family bonds while they are strengthening their identity with the past.”  Parents and grandparents who teach children who they are and where they came from give youth a secure identity from which to draw courage as they encounter the challenges in their lives. 

The authors, sisters Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade grew up in a family history oriented home, but didn’t realize how much they were learning about their family history until later in life.   Throughout Janet’s 12 years as a popular genealogy speaker, co-owner of a family history company, genealogy instructor at SLCC, and as past president of the Utah Genealogical Association, she has witnessed over and over again how family history can heal the relationships in a family.  Her books Zap The Grandma Gap: Connect To Your Family By Connecting Them To Their Family History, and Zap The Grandma Gap Power Up Workbook have helped families connect with their roots through the real life examples drawn from Janet’s own experiences with her teenage children.   Over the last 8 years, Amy has traveled studying folklore, dance and food and culture around the world and recently received her Masters Degree in Folklore from George Mason University.  Together, they are living proof that exploring your family history helps strengthen relationships with living family members.

My German Ancestor (ISBN 978-09888-548-5-7), My Swedish Ancestor (ISBN 978-09888-548-4-0) My Civil War Ancestor (ISBN 978-09888548-3-3) and My British Ancestor (ISBN 978-09888-548-2-6), (Family ChartMasters Press, $9.95, 52 pages, 8.5x11, paperback) are available for pre-order at

CONTACT: Janet Hovorka, 801-472-1091,

Janet Hovorka
Have you seen my new book?  Zap The Grandma Gap: Connect with your family by connecting them to their family history.  Available at
Development Director--Family Chart Masters (
2011-2013 President--Utah Genealogical Association (
Genealogy Instructor--Salt Lake Community College (

Thank you to Janet and Amy for providing useful resources for families to help interest their children and grandchildren in family history.

The URL for this post is:


Janet Hovorka said...

Thanks for helping get the word out Randy! We really appreciate everything you do for the genealogy community.

Jana Iverson Last said...


These books by Janet Hovorka look awesome!

I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a wonderful weekend!