Praise for The Grannie Annie

Grannie Annie author and family in matching red T-shirts celebrating their family's story

What do you like about The Grannie Annie? How has The Grannie Annie helped you or someone you know? Do you have a suggestion? The Grannie Annie wants to hear from you. Send your e-mail to Please include your full name, mailing address, and phone number.

Some comments below refer to student-illustrated paperback books, which The Grannie Annie published annually for its first fifteen years.

Click here to read praise for Echoes from World War II: Young Writers Sharing Family Stories


As a writing instructor, I encourage my students to enter various contests throughout the year. They have submitted stories to The Grannie Annie every year for many years. Thank you for the writing prompt and for reading their submissions. I have enjoyed the remarkable stories that many students have uncovered. 

Janine Edwards, Instructor
New Jersey, USA


The Grannie Annie is a writing opportunity with meaning and purpose. As students discover and share their family’s stories, they come to realize the power of their pen to connect members of their family, stir the imagination, and touch hearts. 

Martha Stegmaier, Grannie Annie Board member and volunteer extraordinaire
Missouri, USA


Thank you for this great honor to be included in The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. I took my daughters to South Korea this past summer to meet extended relatives like my grandmother, who is from North Korea. It is very special that the story of her family can be memorialized in this way so that Esther and her sisters can appreciate their heritage.

Sandra Sohn, Parent
Ohio, USA


My family has really loved the whole Grannie Annie process — the interview, the research, the editing, and of course the honor of having our family's story selected for publication. It's been such a pivotal writing experience for Aidan, who has just finished fifth grade.

Mindy McCoy, Parent
Missouri, USA


Thanks for such a great opportunity to write powerful stories and to showcase our work!

Carol Fitzsimmons, Teacher
Missouri, USA


The Grannie Annie has brought all 51 children in my language arts classes closer to their families — and to each other. When they discuss their stories, they notice similarities between their own stories and their classmates’ stories. The Grannie Annie is a valuable program that has provided my students and me with a powerful learning opportunity.

Elie Bashevkin, Teacher
New York, USA


The Grannie Annie gives students and their parents a chance to reflect on the varied experiences that weave together their family’s identity. Many people have brokenness in their family history, and by identifying and writing about hard experiences, our children learn to see the strength and restoration of our loved ones. We’re grateful to The Grannie Annie for providing an opportunity to publicly show honor and respect to our family members who have persevered.

Christan Perona, Parent
Missouri, USA


Participating in The Grannie Annie offers my students a wonderful opportunity to learn about their families' history by interviewing a family member, and an authentic audience for their writing.

Kathy Lewis, Teacher
Missouri, USA


My daughter, Sophia Rose, contacted my mother in Germany after her language arts teacher suggested that she write a story about my mother in World War II. The two had a wonderful e-mail and phone correspondence over a couple of weeks. When I saw the final draft of my daughter’s writing, I read a story my mother had never told me. My daughter created a new memory of my mother’s life through her writing.What an amazing gift The Grannie Annie gave our family!

Petra Swidler, Parent
Missouri, USA

Because of The Grannie Annie, I have been motivated to continue writing and am now working on my first novel!

Aaron Schnoor, Author, Grannie Annie, Vols. 5, 6, and 7; Grannie Annie Selection Committee 2014, 2015, and 2016; North Carolina, USA


When young people participate in The Grannie Annie and discover, and then reflect upon, their family’s stories and the family stories of others, the experience can create in each of these young authors an enhanced sense of appreciation, understanding, and “connection.” Thank you to The Grannie Annie for giving our communities young people who will see our diversity as an asset rather than a deficit, will recognize the sameness even in our differences, and will bring to our world a bit more compassion.

Dr. Phil Hunsberger, Senior Partner
Educational Equity Consultants


This is my daughter’s first time submitting her writing outside her school. It’s very encouraging to her. She loves reading and writing. I believe this experience will have a great impact on her.

Daniel Liu, Parent
New Jersey, USA


The Grannie Annie provided my students with an amazing opportunity to explore their family histories and to share their unique stories and adventures with their classmates. As a Peace Corps volunteer, one of my main goals here in Moldova is to spread peace and friendship, and I feel like The Grannie Annie is a wonderful and creative way to encourage young students to do the same.

Annika Graham, Peace Corps Volunteer


Publication of our daughter’s story is special to us for so many reasons. . . . Both my mother and grandmother passed away a few years ago. Growing up, I heard this story countless times from my grandmother. It’s wonderful seeing that story told through my daughter’s words.

Andrea Rominger, Parent
Alabama, USA


The thrill of holding a book with my story in it is a feeling that can never be matched.

Aaron Schnoor, Published Author, Grannie Annie, Vols. 5, 6, and 7
Member of the Grannie Annie Selection Committee, 2014


When I showed my student his illustration in the book, the whole class gave him an ovation. Thanks so very much for providing him with this opportunity to succeed.

Clayvon Wesley, Teacher
Missouri, USA


My students were so excited to write their family stories! Since the stories were written during our immigration unit, the students had even more reason to ask their families questions. The stories really enriched our classroom discussions and helped the students to connect to the concepts being taught.

Amy Del Coro, Teacher
New Jersey, USA


The Grannie Annie provides the perfect opportunity for students to start asking questions about their families' past — not just the facts, but the stories. Then as they write, students begin to understand how telling a story differs from writing a biography of facts.

Mark Futrell, Teacher
North Carolina, USA


Since my mother died recently, I have been cleaning out her house and going through her things and wondering, Who made this quilt? Who's in this old photo? Trying to remember the family stories that she told me has really driven home the need to preserve family history. It is so wonderful that The Grannie Annie encourages this continuity of memories.

Beverly Miller, Teacher
Alabama, USA


Year after year, my fifth-grade students are eager and excited to submit their work to The Grannie Annie. The experience of submitting a manuscript—with the hope of publishing—gives newfound meaning to their learning. The students stand taller when they become cognizant that the world is benefiting from their contribution.

Rebecca Friedman, Teacher
Maryland, USA


Orion’s writing a family story was extremely important to his grandmother, who had a serious illness. When he called her to tell her that his story was going to be published, she was as happy as anyone had seen her in months. She read the story to anyone who would listen. I can’t even begin to tell you the positive impact that this has had on our family.

Andrew Jones, Parent
Pennsylvania, USA


The Grannie Annie is doing a wonderful job of getting kids more interested in reading, writing, and learning more about their families and their past.

Bert Francis, Parent
Missouri, USA


I would like to thank you for giving Yifu such an encouragement, and working diligently to publish his first article! Our families in China are very happy to hear about this. It is an amazing experience to me that I witness that a part of my family heritage is being connected from my father to my son through the event you support! Thank you!

Yuxing Feng, Parent
Missouri, USA

Writing for The Grannie Annie helps my students feel confident as writers, which in turn provides their imaginations with a comfortable setting in which to create.

Katelin Moquin, Teacher
Missouri, USA


My son “harvested” several stories from my father, including one that appeared in Grannie Annie, Vol. 1. My father has since passed away, and I am forever grateful that my son recorded these stories before it was too late. I doubt he would have done so if it had not been for The Grannie Annie.

Karen Metcalf, Parent
Tennessee, USA


The Grannie Annie challenged my students to go beyond their comfort zone, to write for a broader audience, and to see that learning goes beyond the four walls of a classroom.

Ann-Marie Harris, Teacher
Maryland, USA


The Grannie Annie is a good start for kids to get published. And I love the way The Grannie Annie helps people understand their family history. It also helps children get closer to their families.

Andrew Malphurs
Author of the Grannie Annie, Vol. 5, story “Grandpa’s Saddle”


Stories connect people in families and communities, giving them a common language and understanding of the present as well as the past. Through The Grannie Annie, generations connect as students take time to listen to the stories of their older relatives—and learn from them. Then, as the students write and share their stories, the connections multiply.

Amy Glaser Gage
Children’s author, writing teacher, and consultant to The Grannie Annie


We extend our heartfelt appreciation to The Grannie Annie for offering children and their families an opportunity to remember, or perhaps discover for the first time, treasured pieces of family history. Through The Grannie Annie, these legacies are preserved for generations to come, and memories are created during the process.

Susan Malphurs, Parent
Cumming, Georgia


Although most students in our Eastern European village live next door to family members from earlier generations, The Grannie Annie prompted them to talk with their grandparents in new ways—and to discover the customs and challenges of times past. In addition, stories from the Grannie Annie books have given my students a glimpse of the world outside their village, where differences may abound but the underlying human condition remains the same.

Martin Ellinger-Locke, Peace Corps Volunteer
Petrunea, Glodeni, Moldova


The Grannie Annie is all about connection. As it hearkens back to the original Grannie Annie, it continues her tradition of oral storytelling to link generations and cultures. Grannie Annie family stories written by young people illuminate a long span of history, often revealing family values honed from adversity or triumph and tempered by humor and love.

Janet Grace Riehl
Author of Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music


The Grannie Annie is remarkable in its goals and in its approach. Recording and sharing the stories of preceding generations goes to the heart of education—it teaches us who we are as family members, citizens, and members of human civilization. The interviews have the dual benefit of preserving the history of our ancestors and giving our younger generations the chance to ask the questions and consider the issues that are important to them.

Matthew Lary
Co-author of Victory Through Valor: A Collection of World War II Memoirs


Since first becoming involved with The Grannie Annie, we look forward every year to the truly unique and heartwarming stories each student brings to the classroom. It reminds us that we are all connected by the fabric of family and should cherish the life experiences/lessons learned by past generations.

Brian Billings and Laura Amburgey, Teachers
Whitehouse, Ohio


The Grannie Annie offers my students an excellent opportunity to record and share stories from their family histories. By interviewing relatives, the students learn to appreciate and experience the triumphs and the troubles of their ancestors. These stories should be preserved for these students and for future generations, and The Grannie Annie provides this worthwhile opportunity that benefits all generations.

Susan Jewell, Teacher
Wolbach, Nebraska


It is a privilege to be a part of The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. This wonderful anthology helps to shape our children’s identity by providing them with the opportunity to understand and value their ancestry.

The infinite power of hope, valor, perseverance, and compassion are present in these endearing and eloquently written stories. These significant character-building qualities of generations past can only contribute to strong family foundations today and tomorrow.

May the legacy of The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration continue for generations to come!

Jodi J. De Luca, Ph.D., Parent
Tampa, Florida


We are so thrilled that our daughter, Samantha Lopez, had a story chosen for publication in Volume 3 of the Grannie Annie series. She is so excited and proud. She has struggled with her learning differences, and to find such success has helped her find her strengths. You cannot imagine the boost to her self-esteem from being a published author!

At the same time it is bittersweet because her grandfather, whose box of treasures prompted the story, recently passed away and was unable to be with us to tell us even more about her, and his, family's past.

I hope more schools become aware of The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. Thank you.

Amy Lopez, Parent
Dallas, Texas


We had an incredible time working on [our daughter’s Grannie Annie] story. I had never told Amy about her ancestors. She was thrilled to learn that they were farmers, since she dreams of being a farmer when she grows up. It was a great way for Amy to learn about the rich heritage from which she comes — and to get more writing experience to boot. . . . Thank you so much for providing this one-of-a-kind learning experience. 

Ruth Whitaker, Parent
Dallas, Texas


Thank you for starting such a heart-warming project where all the kids are winners, whether their stories are published or not. Each student who participates in this worthy event learns a wonderful family story and becomes better connected with family members, society, and history.

G-g Metzger, Teacher
Dallas, Texas


Grannie Annie is a beautiful collection of stories — educational, funny, exciting, touching. The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration reminds us that everyone is a storyteller, and who better to share our stories with than our children? When youngsters learn their family stories, they get a sense of how they themselves fit into history, they become more closely bound to older relatives, and they are more likely to recognize their ancestors as three-dimensional people who will amaze and delight them.

Linda Austin
Author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight: Memories of a Japanese Girl


Our son's oma is overwhelmed that her "story" is in print in Grannie Annie. She is thankful for the opportunity to tell it! Every family member and family friend has a signed copy. I know many will be ordering future volumes — they have enjoyed all the stories, just as we have.

Karie Millard, Parent
Indianapolis, Indiana


When kids learn details about what life was like decades ago, the past comes alive for them. History becomes real — and they want to know more! The Grannie Annie provides an opportunity for kids to be inspired by their own family's history — and to share it with the world.

Florrie Binford Kichler
Patria Press


Perhaps the greatest value of the Grannie Annie stories is something not written in the book. When a child interviews an older relative, the child gets to know a person he or she may have taken for granted. The relative gets to tell a story that might have been lost. A bond is created or strengthened. A story is recorded for posterity. New memories are woven, and — just maybe — a writer is born.

Lulu Delacre
Author/Illustrator of Salsa Stories


This book [Grannie Annie] should be on the bookshelves in all elementary and junior high schools. . . .

The Reading Tub (tm)


The Grannie Annie offers students real writing in a real setting. Teachers and parents, if you want to motivate students to love writing, ask them to write for The Grannie Annie. Students not only write their stories, they write their families into history — with a payoff of possible publication.

The Grannie Annie offers readers true stories that expose the human heart and create space for conversation about what truly matters in life. So give yourself a gift: Sit down with a copy of Grannie Annie and share these stories with your family.

Bonnie M. Davis, Ph.D.
Author of How to Teach Students Who Don’t Look Like You: Culturally Relevant Teaching Strategies


Folks coming together and getting to know one another can bring us all closer to a peaceful world. Sharing family stories helps people see what they have in common — and helps them discover their roots as well. Without a doubt, The Grannie Annie is a great idea.

Michael Terrien, President
Play for Peace


Thanks for offering The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. My daughter had so much fun talking to her grandmother about "the old days."

Susan Pennington, Parent and English Teacher
St. Louis, Missouri


The Grannie Annie proved to be a valuable experience for the students in my school. The children’s interviews with their parents or grandparents sparked some good conversation. When the children shared the stories, some students who are normally quiet or reserved got to shine because of something really neat that they wrote about. 

Dianne Elson, Teacher
Carmel, Indiana


The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration takes us back to the old porch swing and to a world of stories from the past. On days filled with CDs, DVDs, and electronic games and screens, we yearn for an afternoon in Grandmother’s kitchen sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on cookies fresh out of the oven or a long walk down to the river with Grandpa to see the tadpoles. It is in these moments with our elders that stories are shared and we discover who we are, our true legacy. For their tales contain wisdom, laughter, and love that connect us to our past and to each other. These shared memories that will live on in us help us "come into our own," but not "on our own." We discover a deep sense of belonging, values, and pride.

Hop on this old creaking swing and you’ll hear stories that will bring tears to your eyes or make you laugh till your sides hurt. Grab your pen — you’ll want to get one of your own family escapades down so that you can submit it to The Grannie Annie, share it with others, and pass it on to your grandchildren someday. Taking time away from your technology-filled life to join in The Grannie Annie is like trading fast food for Sunday dinner at Grandma’s.

Debra K. Shatoff, Ed.D.
Family Therapist and Author of In-Home Child Care: A Step-by-Step Guide to Quality, Affordable Care



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