Grannie Annie Family Stories

I recently read Volume 2 of The Grannie Annie – A Family Story Celebration, put together by Connie McIntyre and Fran Hamilton, and was so touched by the many beautiful stories written by children about members of their families. The last couple years, these ladies have held a contest for any child in grades 4-8 or any homeschooled child ages 9-14 to submit a story about one of their family members. They collect their favorites (and the illustrations) to go into the next volume of The Grannie Annie family story book. I was so impressed with the kids’ writings, which Fran told me are not edited by her or Connie.

There is quite a gamut of story types, from the girl whose family was denied boarding the Titanic due to her brother’s pinkeye to a seven-year-old Vietnamese girl responsible for cooking, cleaning and babysitting while her parents worked long hours during the day and into the night. There is a more modern-day story of a teen trying to keep her family together and having to drop out of school to care for her mother and siblings only to have a miracle happen to change their lives around. You can tell these stories are written by kids, but they are sweet, funny, exciting, and most definitely educational. The best part is that so many of the child writers commented at the end of their stories how close they felt to their parent or grandparent, or, in one case, how grateful they were that their “tenth-great-grandfather” survived his fall out of the Mayflower. This book belongs in every school classroom as a source of sample writing of personal narratives and for students to learn of the fascinating lives that parents, grandparents and other elders have had.

The deadline for the next Grannie Annie contest is February 14, 2008. See The Grannie Annie website for more details on how to enter and to read some of the stories from Volume 2. Even if your classroom or your child doesn’t enter the contest, it is worthwhile to read these stories together and discover the value of our elders as storytellers and keepers of history.

The real-life Grannie Annie, Ann Guirreri Cutler, comments about her own life, “By sharing their stories, Gramma and Mom created a sense of family, a sense of closeness and security, that will stay with me forever.”


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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