CHICAGO, December 10, 2023 –Chicago authors Jerry Witkovsky and Deanna Shoss have been named recipients of a prestigious 2023 Best Indie Book Award (BIBA) for Nonfiction/Grandparenting and Family Relationships, for their outstanding book, “Where Two Worlds Meet: A Guide to Connecting with Your Teenage Grandchildren.”
The BIBA Awards celebrate the best in independent publishing, recognizing authors and their exceptional contributions to various genres. Witkovsky and Shoss’s book, “Where Two Worlds Meet,” stood out among thousands of submissions, demonstrating an unparalleled commitment to exploring the dynamics of intergenerational relationships.
“Where Two Worlds Meet” is a heartwarming and insightful guide that navigates the complexities of connecting with teenage grandchildren.
When grandchildren are young, a sweet treat or new toy is enough to inspire their unconditional adoration. And then your grandchildren grow up. Suddenly they are teenagers and it’s not so easy anymore. Where Two Worlds Meet starts with the teenage years, recognizing that your grandchildren are becoming independent beings in their own right. It shifts the power from “how do I make it happen” to “how do WE build it together.” It is full of insights and tactics to stay connected, plus letters from grandchildren of all ages and backgrounds sharing what they’ve learned from a grandparent, all designed to help deepen your relationship with your grandchildren as they enter their teenage years and beyond.
“We are thrilled and honored to receive a 2023 Best Indie Book Award.”
“We are thrilled and honored to receive a 2023 Best Indie Book Award,” said Witkovsky. “Connecting with your teenage grandchildren is an essential aspect of building strong family bonds, and we hope our book inspires and guides grandparents on this incredible journey that lasts a lifetime. Grandparents must stay involved. They can be a lifeline for today’s teens who are facing so many social and real-life challenges.”
Shoss added, “It’s a privilege to be recognized by BIBA for our work in fostering meaningful connections between generations. We believe that by understanding and embracing the unique dynamics of these relationships, grandparents can play a crucial role in the lives of their teenage grandchildren, making the entire family stronger.”
The award is a testament to the authors’ dedication to providing valuable insights and tools for grandparents seeking to bridge the generation gap with their teenage grandchildren. Other Grandparenting programs Witkovsky and Shoss have developed together include The Grandparent Grandchild Connection School program, and the “Grandparents! Write Your Stories” story prompt program, where they partnered with the JCC and YMCA to create a writing program serving more than 400 grandparents on three continents. Additionally, their “Prompt a Memory Story Cards” gift card game is now available online, in partnership with GrandpareentsAcademy.com. Their first book together, “Where Two Worlds Meet: A Guide to Connecting with Your Teenage Grandchildren,” has garnered widespread acclaim for its warmth, practicality, and the genuine connection it fosters between generations.
About the Authors
Jerry (MSW, University of Illinois) is a beloved mentor to thousands of individuals and generations of families, thanks to 47 years of professional leadership, eighteen of them as General Director of the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago. In 1995 he was named one of the city’s “Most Effective Non-Profit CEOs” by Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine. Since his 1997 retirement, Jerry has focused his considerable energies on grandparenting facilitation—helping multigenerational families work (and play) together to create a rich family life.
Deanna Shoss (MA, DePaul University) has served as the Director of Communications and Outreach with a local government agency since November 2022. Deanna joined the organization with tremendous experience in media, communications, and community engagement across the public, private, and not-for-profit arenas. Previously, Shoss founded Intercultural Talk, Inc. a digital, intercultural, and real-life marketing agency. She enjoyed eleven years in City government (notably, she personally got the dinosaur at O’Hare International Airport through security), being past President of the League of Chicago Theatres, leading Public Relations for McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Eastern New England and directing marketing and communications for Jewish Child & Family Services and JVS Chicago.