The best stories from my site and around the web in 2016.
A New Jersey family marks the holiday each year with lights, cookies, and a party in honor of a long-lost matriarch.
Ask your grandparents questions about themselves before it’s too late, urges novelist Michael Chabon.
You’ve probably heard about the latest blockbuster Disney movie and its teenaged heroine, Moana. But have you heard about her really awesome grandma?
With Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Steve Bannon headed to the White House, many of us are feeling powerless. We’re not.
Bob Townsend of Summersville, West Virginia practically grew up in the barbershop that his father opened in town during the Great Depression. Now, he owns the shop and employs his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson there.
This picture book celebrates both the bond between kids and their grandparents and the transcendent power of a story well told.
Though Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, he was “a spirited, joyous, uproarious, and happy boy,” thanks to his grandma, who raised and protected him.
Thanks to Craig and Tina Abernethy of San Diego for submitting this shot of themselves with their granddaughter, Calla, on Halloween last year.
All the Girl Scouts troops in her California town were full, so Kathy Richardson started a new one for her granddaughter and her friends.
In a beautiful essay, the novelist Ann Patchett recalls how she moved back to her hometown—Nashville, Tennessee—when she was 30, largely to care for her grandmother.
Melanie Salazar, 18, just started her first year at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, where her grandpa, Rene Neira, is completing his associate’s degree.
I’ve been asking grandparents around the country what they’re called and why. Here are a few of their stories.
The monumental stress of raising a child with autism can be eased by grandparents, who are often “ideally suited” to provide parents with support, scholars say.
Grandparents are healthier, wealthier, and longer-lived than ever before. What does this mean for us all?
When she was six, Simone Biles was adopted by her grandparents. Now, she’s the best gymnast in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, Americans are nearly as likely today as they were in 1950 to live in a multigenerational household, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
Grandparents are healthier than they were 30 years ago, even though they’re also older, a Canadian study has found.
“America has changed over the years,” President Obama told the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “But these values that my grandparents taught me, they haven’t gone anywhere.”
Grandparents and grandchildren need one another, so parents shouldn’t stand in the way, says grandmother and journalist Connie Schultz.
A woman honors the grandparents who shaped her.
For kids, summer means freedom. These books beautifully capture that.
Nancy Schatz is famous in Maine for the blueberry pie she learned how to make from her mother, who learned how to make it from hers. Here’s the recipe, which Nancy’s granddaughters have begun to master, too.
Let’s ditch the stereotypes and start embracing the truth instead.
Francine Prose returns to an island she fell in love with years ago.
Female orcas who’ve undergone menopause play a critical role in helping their extended families find food, particularly during times of scarcity, scientists have learned.
A picture book about what happens when parents get out of the way.
Reflections of a first-time grandmother.
I love the way Michelle Obama toasted her mom, who moved into the White House to help raise her granddaughters, at a Mother’s Day Tea in 2014.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz recently shot this portrait of Queen Elizabeth, who just turned 90, with her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren.
You’ll need some olive oil, a good butcher, and this recipe for Neapolitan ragù.
What it’s like to join the Peace Corps at age 86.
A retired pastry chef in Texas surprised his great-grandchildren on Easter with this one-of-a-kind confection.
In this pastel by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), his wife and daughter are preparing for a visit with his mother.
I spent the final weeks of winter reading all the picture books I could find about spring. Here are my favorites. They’re simple, they’re deep, and they’re as gorgeous as the season.
A moving new song by country music star Zac Brown.
In this extraordinary picture book, a girl’s grandfather inspires her to live well and do good.
Alice Carter, 87, a grandmother from Boston, is halfway through a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Rabat, Morocco, where she’s volunteering at a youth center.
Guy and Joanne Sinclair have been raising their granddaughter since their daughter got hooked on heroin.
A tribute to grandparents for Valentine’s Day.
Archibald Motley, one of the most celebrated artists of the Harlem Renaissance, created two famous portraits of his grandmother, Emily, who was born into slavery in Kentucky.
The women’s basketball team at Franklin College in Indiana has a not-so-secret weapon.
After her husband died in 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt traveled the world as a diplomat, speaker, and activist. But she was never too busy for her granddaughter.
A poem about grandmothers by Lucille Clifton (1936-2010).
As a boy, Allen Say barely knew his grandpa. As a man, he came to understand him. That’s why he created Grandfather’s Journey, a picture book for which he won the Caldecott Medal in 1994.
Would her grandma remember her? Jane Kim, 41, wasn’t sure. It had been 23 years since she’d last visited her in Korea, and she was nearly 100 years old.
Grandparents matter in profound, enduring, and sometimes unexpected ways. That’s what I learned from these recordings, which were made by three American families for the oral history project StoryCorps.
In 2015, I wrote 75 stories, some of which were more popular than others. Here are the 10 that got the most clicks. Happy reading and Happy New Year!
“Imagine it: During the holidays, instead of using gadgets to ignore each other, we might use them as an excuse to look each other in the eye and listen.”
This time of year, I always think of my grandma Mia, who made me feel safe, special, and loved for 22 years.