Study Guide

Grammie in A Little Less Girl

By Tess Oliver

Grammie

Dani's grandmother, whom she affectionately calls Grammie, never makes an appearance in this story, but her spirit kind of flows through it. Dani and her mom move into Grammie's old house, which sets the story in motion. Dani also explains Grammie's basic backstory and why she lived in Raynesville in the first place:

Grammie had left her hometown to live here among the mountains and trees and away from the gossip of the people who knew she'd raised two teenagers who'd found themselves pregnant, unwed, and unwanted. (2.12)

So Grammie and Dani's mom never really got along. They ended up spending most of their lives fighting with each other and Dani's mom clearly didn't like Grammie's meddling… even if that meddling kept Dani safe and alive when her mom was too strung-out to notice that she had a little girl to take care of. We'd say Grammie is pretty cool.

Eventually Dani's mom figures this out, too. Once she moves into Grammie's old house and starts looking through her things, she discovers that she and her mom actually had a lot in common:

I glanced back at the record player that was constantly skipping. "Did you pull those out of Grammie's closet?" […]

"She had a stack of bibles and knitting needles sitting on top of her rock and roll record collection." The words came out between cries. "What kind of crazy person has their bibles sitting on their Janis Joplin records?" She wiped her tears on the back of her arm and swallowed.

I shrugged not totally sure how to deal with this emotional outburst. "A religious person who likes rock music?" (16.14, 17-18)

Yup, even Grammie loved to rock out. But Dani's mom discovers a little too late that her mom wasn't exactly the strict and disapproving person she always imagined her to be. Too bad, so sad.

Dani, for the most part, loves and misses Grammie. She appreciates everything Grammie did for her growing up, even if Dani didn't want to leave her drug-addicted mom to go live with Grammie. But there's also a little part of her that blames Grammie for what happened to Amy. She says that Grammie pulled Amy away to live in Raynesville even though the two girls were super close and really needed each other. Maybe if Amy and Dani had stayed close, Amy would still be alive.

Hey, no grandma is perfect, but we think this one did the best she could. You go, Grammie. Enjoy your Janis Joplin records in Heaven.