Reviews | Harriet Hodgson

Reviews for Grief Doodling

5 stars. “This is a good book for grieving children. It has instructions on each page for different doodles. This is a good distraction technique for kids who have recently had a loss. I’ve never seen a book like this before and I think it would be a good tool for children or adults.”

Anne Edester, for NetGalley

5 stars. “I’m a doodler. My notebooks are full of squiggles, flowers, and designs. In fact, I carry a doodling notepad and colored markers to draw while I listen to seminars and meetings. When I saw ‘Grief Doodling’ listed as being available for advance release review, I crossed my fingers and toes that the publisher would grant me the opportunity. The book combines my love of doodling with my love of therapeutic tools. My crossing worked and my hopes were not crushed in that this book is everything I hoped it might be.

Hodgson opens the book with a doodling ‘how to’ guide that will prompt the reluctant but not tether those familiar with the process. She then takes time to explain the benefits of doodling as a part of processing thoughts as one is grieving. Each page that follows gently nudges the reader to consider their grief journey while creating. She isn’t sly with her intentions but remains gentle and affirming.

For clinical use, this book would be a fantastic tool for homework to take the place of an open journal. It will appeal to older elementary aged children through adults as it is simple and self-guided. Outside of the therapeutic setting, this would make a nice gift for a loved one experiencing grief. Once completed, “Grief Doodling” serves as a time capsule of memories and progress through a difficult period.”

Lauren Geier, for NetGalley

5 stars. “This is such a good book for any child that is going through grief. The whole book talks about how you will feel and what you can do about it. Each page gives you the ability to fill in some already doodled pictures. The author also gives you examples of doodles and how to make them. This would be wonderful and needed for any child who is trying to help themselves with grief. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.”

Christine Rankins (Educator), for NetGalley

“This is a sweet book that gives children prompts for doodles to create to help deal with their grief. It is written by someone who has been there and I appreciated that she didn’t pretend that grief would end or that you’d get to the other side of it. The prompts were sometimes more helpful for me personally than others. In some cases I felt that they relied too much on artistic talent, like instructing kids to draw themselves and their loved one doing something. I preferred the prompts that let you use symbolism instead, as many kids would probably get hung up on their doodles not looking enough like the people. Still, this is likely to be a helpful book for grieving kids. Teens and adults may also find it helpful.”

– Alicia Bayer, for NetGalley

Reviews for The Grandma Force

5 stars. “The Grandma Force is filled with incredible information and encouragement. I learned so much from this book. When I saw the cover, I was already sold. Harriey Hodgson didn’t need to work very hard to convince me of the importance of grandma’s. I was raised by mine and my children are deeply connected to theirs.

What surprised me is how quickly I would be drawn into the pages of this book and how much I would learn. I am more convinced than ever that grandma’s are the solution to so many of the problems the world faces today!

Great book, delightful read. All around wonderful choice!”

Regina Chari (Educator), for NetGalley

Reviews for So, You’re Raising Your Grandkids

“Author Harriet Hodgson has written a heartwarming account of her experiences raising her grandchildren as the result of the tragic loss of their parents. Interwoven with her own family’s challenges are wise words for all grandparents raising grandchildren. Hodgson’s expertise in caregiving and grief counseling contributes greatly to the help and healing this book offers.”
— Deborah Doucette, Author of Raising Our Children’s Children: Room in the Heart, Writer, Blogger for the Huffington Post, Support Group Leader, raised and adopted her granddaughter

“It is common to see grandparents raise their grandkids. The reasons vary from the children getting in trouble, passing away, divorce, teen pregnancies, parents being in jail, not being in a capacity to raise the kids, or not having the right parental skills. Grandparents raising grandkids may seem easy, but it’s not. Harriet Hodgson takes us through the struggles, the fun times that create the relationship children have with their grandparents.

Harriet Hodgson uses real-life example to delivery some poignant and sage advice. She raised her daughters’ children, and so speaks from a position of experience throughout the book, but not as a teacher, more as a knowing grandparent. The kids were twins and raising them was an amazing experience. The author notes how difficult it can be when grandkids ask for information which you think would be best explained by their parents. Losing her daughter was painful. Grieving for her daughter, the twin’s father, her brother, and father in law was among the lowest moments in her life.

This book reads like a parenting guide for grandparents. Some may feel that, since they are grandparents, they know how to raise kids. But remember, you are raising kids from a different perspective now and this book illuminates those differences and helps you tackle them. The author writes about family values and helps one understand what children want and how they should be treated. Raising teens can be an uphill task for anyone. The writer shares her experience raising her grandkids in their teen years, and how adolescents react to issues.

The tips Harriet Hodgson shares should be mastered by everyone as they will always come in handy at some point in life. The book is written in a flowing style, with the author listing her thoughts then explaining later in detail. This book not only educates you on parenting, but also helps to understand and cope with grief.

Throughout the bok Harriet Hodgson words are backed by research and science. That is the other amazing thing about this book. Everything listed is a fact, and one gets to understand how some families come to be. From the texts in the book, one can tell that Harriet is excellent at care-giving.

I’ve learned a lot just by reading this book. Mourning can take a toll on someone, but there is always that period where you rise up. The author did well by talking about stress and the effect it has on kids and how one should take care of their health. You understand how you can encourage a child to aim higher and get to the peak in everything they do.”

Literary Titan

“This book was very helpful to me. I am raising my grandchildren and sometimes I feel totally alone. This book shows me that I am not alone through very valuable stories and tips.”

Lisa Garrett for NetGalley

Reviews for The Family Caregiver’s Cookbook

cookbook5 stars. “I received ‘The Family Caregiver’s Guide’ from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I do enjoy reading cookery books and this is one gem of a cookbook aimed at Caregivers. If only I had a book like this when my late mother was alive, as it would have saved me a lot of work. Nonetheless, many of these recipes will come in useful. There are quite a lot of tips and some of which I really ought to start to consider. I must change some of my ways to make life easier, especially when it comes to making extra for another day. I cannot tell you what my favourite recipe is, as there were many that were making my mouth water. I will recommend this book to all, especially for those who are caring for family etc.” – Jeanette Styles for NetGalley

“This is a beautifully organized cookbook for caregivers who need ideas for wholesome, time sensitive, and straight forward meals. My favorite recipes by far were the Java Chilli and the Wine Spaghetti bother simale bUT rearly good. This book would be great with the addition of more pictures of the recipes, the ingredients, the prepping and the finished meals. The lists, icons and design of the text make it very reader friendly for even the novice cook.” – Mindith Rahmat for NetGalley

“I love this cookbook. It is well laid out and so easy to understand. The caregiver tips are awesome. The stories are inspiring. I can hardly wait to try the fresh strawberry pie.” – Darlene Blackwell for NetGalley

Reviews for A Journal for Family Caregivers

A Journal for Family Caregivers“Caregiving can be rewarding, full of moments with happiness, laughter and sweet memories but it can also bring out sadness and stress. This journal is a positive start to evaluate yourself, destress and refocus on the development of caregiving. I feel like it got off to a slow start (explaining how/why to journal) but once the pages with affirmations and prompts began, I was immediately filled with my own thoughts and connections. In my situation, I am not the sole provider of care but I wondered what the reactions of a home health aide provided with this journal would be. This is definitely a great resource for a family caregiver.” – Maryuly Mendoza for NetGalley

“A journal with a purpose and goal beyond writing thoughts and feelings. The author’s technique of reading an affirmation and completing the writing prompt are excellent tools to get one writing. A blank page can be intimidating and with many thoughts flying around in my brain it can be hard to focus. This approach helps you channel your thoughts and may even help you sort out what is most worrying you. I like the fact that when the journal is complete, it may help guide you to an action plan. I also read recently that journaling is good for your blood pressure so be thankful and begin journaling.” – Sandra L. Weissler, Caregiver

“I am a medical social worker and was interested in this book as a professional resource. I really enjoyed it and it is something I will recommend to the families I work with. I liked the layout of this and I found it to be easy to use/follow along with. Caregiving is an exhausting experience, both physically and mentally, and I think it’s important for caregivers to have tools like this to help them through the hard days.” – Alisa Cook, Medical Social Worker

Reviews for The Family Caregiver’s Guide

The Family Caregiver's Guide by Harriet HodgsonThe Family Caregiver’s Guide is a must-read for all caregivers, whether family or professional. Harriet Hodgson backs up each chapter topic with an impressive list of resources. Her personal stories add credibility to this research. The Smart Steps at the end of the chapters are excellent. Although Harriet writes about the challenges of caregiving, she also writes about its positive impact on her life. A Registered Nurse and certified counselor, I worked in home health for ten years and was a caregiver for my mother and husband. The Family Caregiver’s Guide is the best caregiving book I have ever read. I hope it is required reading for all professionals and available to families everywhere.” – Mary Amundsen, BSN, MS Counseling, Caregivers’ Support Group Leader

Midwest Book Review…

“As informed and informative as it is real-world practical and thoroughly ‘user friendly’ in organization and presentation, “The Family Caregiver’s Guide” should be considered reading essential for anyone anticipating or already engaged in caring for a loved one in the family home.

Of special note are the chapters on ‘What Skills do You Need?’ and ‘Getting Ready for Home Care’. Particularly useful are the three Appendices: Home Safety Checklist; Medicine Cabinet Supplies; Terms to Know. Simply stated, a copy of Harriet Hodgson’s “The Family Caregiver’s Guide” should be a part of every community library, senior citizen center, and family counseling center instructional reference collection. For personal reading lists it should be noted that “The Family Caregiver’s Guide” is also available in a Kindle edition.” – Helen Dumont, Midwest Book Review

“Whether you are just beginning your caregiving journey, or you’ve been in the trenches for a long time, The Family Caregivinger’s Guide provides a structure that will help you organize your thoughts and develop a framework for dealing with everything from improving communication with your care receiver, to assessing your own skills and needs, to maintaining a home-like atmosphere while adapting your house to accommodate medical equipment such as grab bars and hospital beds.

Don’t be deceived by the length of the book. It is only 149 pages, but every paragraph is packed with practical, applicable advise that will be helpful to you as your care receiver’s condition progresses.  I especially love the Smart Steps list at the end of each chapter. I would recommend posting these steps on your refrigerator for easy reference. I was also impressed with the Assessment Checklist, Home Safety Checklist, and Medicine Cabinet Supplies list.

The combination of the author’s personal stories with the expert medical advise provided by her husband provides insights that only come with extensive experience. I will buy this book for friends, list it as an important resource on my website, and recommend it to anyone who is trying to figure out how to manage the incredibly difficult physical, mental, and emotional aspects of caring for a loved one who can no longer care for him/herself. ” – Elaine K Sanchez, Author, Speaker, Co-founder of

“Harriet’s latest work is grounded in an honest approach to the full spectrum of what it takes to care. Her focus on the daily realities caregivers have to contend with is a refreshing perspective and one that caregivers at any stage could benefit from reading.” – Adrienne Gruberg, President/Founder, The Caregiver Space,

“Harriet Hodgson’s latest book, The Family Caregiver’s Guide, immediately put me at ease. The chapters are well organized. Checklists and questions, sprinkled throughout the book, give the reader opportunities to reflect about caregiving. Smart Tips at the end of each chapter act as a review of information. This is a must-read for new and experienced caregivers alike. Harriet has much to share with the caregivers of the world.” – Mary Jane Cronin, MA, LMHC, Cronin Counseling and Coaching, Largo, Florida,

“Harriet Hodgson has written many books about heart-wrenching events and does it again with The Family Caregiver’s Guide. The book is based on her eighteen years of caregiving experience. Harriet was her mother’s caregiver, twin grandchildren’s caregiver/guardian, and is her disabled husband’s caregiver today. Readers will benefit from the guide’s clear organization, extensive research, friendly writing, and 101 Smart Steps. Caregivers need all the help they can get. I would recommend The Family Caregiver’s Guide to any caregiver. It’s a winner!” –
Gloria Horsley, MFC, CNS, PhD, Cofounder and President of the Open to Hope Foundation, Co-Host of Open to Hope Radio and Television

The Family Caregiver’s Guide is an informative resource for caring for an infirmed loved one. As a nursing professional and caregiver for my daughter, who sustained severe anoxic brain injury more than twelve years ago, I would have welcomed this easy-to-read guide. Even though I’m a RN, with a doctorate in public health systems management, when my daughter was injured I felt overwhelmed. The Family Caregiver’s Guide provides simple, easy-to-follow steps for caring for a loved one. The appendix contains checklists for creating a safe home environment and definitions of common medical terms. I love the personal touch Harriet Hodgson provides throughout the book, assuring caregivers that we are not alone to fend for ourselves in this chaotic healthcare maze. Each caregiver’s journey is personal, and the ability to go to any chapter when needed is a precious gem of this guide. I highly recommend The Family Caregiver’s Guide to professional and lay caregivers alike, because no caregiver should embark on this journey alone.” – Deborah Anzalone, Dr. PH, RN, CHES, Lighthouse Point, Florida

“Just when I think I’ve got this “caregiving” thing in control, Harriet Hodgson has come up with answers to issues and questions I haven’t confronted yet. The Family Caregiver’s Guide is filled with practical information that can be used to chart schedules, identify problems, and solve problems, all the while taking care of myself. Hodgson is as creative as to have you mentally reverse roles with the person you are caring for, and as practical as to encourage ten minutes of meditation a day for the caregiver. This book is presented differently than any other I’ve read on caregiving, and may be the only help book I’ll need from now on.” – Peggy Trumbo, dementia caregiver on the caregiver journey

The Family Caregiver’s Guide by Harriet Hodgson is an excellent resource for individuals and family members who have taken on the new role of caregiver. Harriet has ‘walked the walk’ and is able to give the reader excellent insight, resources and inspiration as they take on this new normal. This easy to use guide provides shared experiences, useful tips and valuable resources that can make caregiving a little less stressful, a little more organized and hopefully a treasured experience in your life.” – Laurie Marreel, Executive Director, Elder Network

“My twenty-four year old daughter has severe Cerebral Palsy. She is like an infant and requires total care 24-7. When I saw The Family Caregiver’s Guide on Netgalley I knew I had to read it. Not many people can imagine what being a long term caregiver is like. Hodgson is also a caregiver and truly understands. This book was full of support, advice and resources…” – Sandra Theberge for NetGalley

“I thought this book was an awesome source of information for caregivers.. Being a caregiver can be very difficult especially when you have no idea where to begin or what resources are out there for you to use. This book covers it all.” – Lori Payer (Educator) for NetGalley

5 stars. “An extremely helpful and thorough guide for those who are responsible for the care of another. Complete with action lists, this guide will help many family members as well as friends navigate the complex task of organizing and providing care for a loved one in need. Caregivers will find solid advice here as they are helped through this difficult role.” – Dr. Amy “Aloha” Brandt for NetGalley

5 stars. “This book is a very thorough guide for any Caregiver that is dealing with a family member that has Alzheimers. It not only helps you to take care of someone else but also encourages you to take care of yourself in the process. I highly recommend this book for not only caregivers but medical personnel as well.” – Nickie Elliott, A Joy of Reading book blog

Reviews for Affirmations for Family Caregivers

Affirmations for Family Caregivers5 stars. “As a caregiver for my son I personally found this book positive, uplifting and full of inspiration. Having been exploring Positive Psychology for some time and working personally with affirmations, I see them as a great way to turn a negative into a positive without negating how the experience or issue has made you feel. Harriet Hodgson in her introduction, gives an open and honest account of the tragedies in her life and how the results have had a life-changing knock-on effect on her life as she has stepped in at various stages to become caregiver to a steady stream of family members over the years, including her mother, her husband, and her orphaned twin grandchildren.

However, whatever job you do, even if it’s one you love involving people you love, there are guaranteed to be aspects of it that will irritate, exasperate, cause anxiety and stress, or just plain get you down! Harriet gives some great examples of how she has dealt with these occasions by writing her own affirmations – for example, in Chapter One, ‘My Caregiving Tasks,’ she writes ‘Changes in plans don’t throw me off balance; they activate my coping skills’ or ‘Every job has its messy aspects, and that makes me appreciate the non-messy aspects more.’ Furthermore, acknowledging the time constraints on caregivers, Harriet Hodgson has created an easily readable book, simply formatted and defined carefully by chapters without too much content. Harriet Hodgson, I applaud you!

Prior to reading this book I had spent a lot of time reading other peoples’ affirmations, but I had never thought to have a go at writing my own which reflect on my own personal experiences as a caregiver. I am now inspired to do so! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!” – Joanna Windsor for NetGalley

Midwest Book Review

An affirmation is the act or an instance of affirming; state of being affirmed; the assertion that something exists or is true; something that is affirmed; a statement or proposition that is declared to be true; and the confirmation or ratification of the truth or validity of a prior judgment, decision, etc. “Affirmations for Family Caregivers” is an inherently thoughtful and thought-provoking, insightful and inspiring, comforting and supportive collection of single sentence affirmations that are very highly recommended for both senior center, community, and academic library collections.


5 stars. “Highly recommended as a gift or for your own personal use. There are many positive thoughts and common sense ideas for those who are caregivers or may have to be one in the future.” – Georgia Hamilton for NetGalley

“While my experience relates to a family member with a mental illness not a family member with a physical disability I found the advice of developing specific and appropriate affirmations to be very positive. The issues Harriet Hodgson raises about the health and well being of being a carergiver is spot on and her strategies of building strength both mentally and physically to make the most of what you have to deal with as a carer is inspiring. The book has lovely drawings and is well presented so that you can go to different sections without needing to read the whole book. Good to help writing ones own affirmations.” – Sharon Jarvis for NetGalley

“While I haven’t been a long term caregiver, I know many people, including Jose, who have been caregivers to a family member. I’ve seen how draining caregiving can be. When a family member relies on you completely to be there for them physically and emotionally it can be very challenging and draining. You lose sleep, you’re bone tired and that effects your behaviour.

The author has used her experiences to stress the importance of using affirmations to boost your spirit as a caregiver. The book has been organized by topic. For example, self-care, quiet time, responsibility, routine, etc.

Some sample affirmations:

Any one who takes care of someone knows that things don’t always go according to plan. An unexpected visitor. The ‘patient’ throwing a tantrum or taking a turn for the worse. It’s important to have a routine but also be creative. This affirms that.

I am not afraid to revise my task list when necessary. Creativity is an important part of each caregiving day.

Caregiving is a tough job. No doubt about that. But our first duty is to take care of ourselves. Jose has shared with me how when he looked after his mother, he made sure he went out every day and also asked people for help. So this affirmation made so much sense to me.

It’s amazing how a fifteen-minute walk helps me de-stree. Self-care is part of caregiving, and I take good care of myself.

This book will make a wonderful gift to a caregiver. And if you’re a caregiver consider getting the book for yourself.” – Corinne Rodrigues, Everyday Gyann

5 stars. “Inspiring and Uplifting!

Harriet knows being a caregiver is tough work. She has done it for a long time and has brought forth a marvelous book to assist those who lovingly care for others. This book is not just a breath of fresh air for someone toiling day in and day out for a loved one, it is genius. It provides a moment of respite and encouragement for those showing love every waking minute. These affirmations directly acknowledge the difficulties that can beset the caregiver as well as the receiver of care. Affirmations for Family Caregivers gets 5 STARS. I love this book!” —Mark Schultz, Amazon Reviewer

Reviews for The Family Caregivers Series

Spriteby’s Verden Review (3/27/2016)