This Week's Featured Stories

If you're looking for a laugh, a midday pick-me-up or a dose of inspiration, you'll love our featured stories. You can read three free stories every month by picking from the selection below or by searching through every Chicken Soup for the Soul story ever published using the box to the right. You can also have stories delivered right to your inbox with our free, featured story emails. If you'd like to have unlimited access and be able to choose the perfect story for any moment, sign up for a premium subscription and have the freedom to enjoy any of our 20,000+ stories any time!


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1: Just One Minute, Young Man

Just One Minute, Young Man No language can express the power and beauty and heroismand majesty of a mother’s love. ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin It’s been called the $20,000 breakfast, at least that’s what we’d heard. After scrimping and saving and tweaking our budget, we had come up with the $5,000 per year tuition to send our son to St. Paul’s High School, a Jesuit educational institution. On the Friday before Mother’s Day of the graduation year, moms are treated to a morning of celebration. Although it was quite “hush, hush,” we had heard whispers about it from other moms who had been there. We had an idea of what to expect, but still we were not prepared. Gather 150 young men of seventeen and eighteen years on a hot and humid May day, dress them up in their finest attire, stuff them into a crowded, non-air-conditioned auditorium to sit beside their moms for more than three hours. It’s bound to be interesting. The morning began with a celebration service, a rose, and a tissue packet for each mom. Each boy — big strapping football players, small late bloomers, smart kids, challenging kids, quiet kids — crossed the archway to manhood. Each had one minute with the microphone. One minute to look into his mother’s... (more)
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2: The Twinkie

The Twinkie Amen I say to you, unless you become like children,you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 18:3 It was my seventh year teaching first grade. I was teaching at the parochial school I had attended, associated with the church I went to my whole life. One little girl from that class, Abby, had immigrated recently from Greece with her parents and grandparents. Abby was the only one in the family who could speak English, and she had to translate everything for her parents, including school notes, bills, and report cards. All this responsibility was obvious on Abby’s shoulders and face, leaving her little time just to be a kid. She hardly smiled or laughed. Usually, no one wanted to play with her. She didn’t know the rules of the games, how to be a friend, or how to engage others. She was alone in a crowd of happy people, standing on the sidelines, watching the world with her ice-blue eyes. I worked with Abby beyond the standard curriculum. I focused on social skills, trust, and friendship. I taught her how to play, beam a friendly smile, how to be a child. Slowly, Abby learned to trust, smile, and play. She had turned the corner that spring and was happy, instead of hunched over like a turtle ready to climb into her shell. Her schoolwork skyrocketed... (more)
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3: God Is With Us

God Is With Us Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5 “Come on Peanut,” I shout. “Grab my hand!” I reach out, grasp the tips of Emily’s fingers and manage to fish her out of a sea of teens, all trying to jump on one of the buses headed for downtown Rome — as in Italy. “I’ve got you!” I exclaim with a grin, while pulling her through the door and safely into the bus. But what about the others? I quickly lock eyes with each exhausted, yet still wired, teen to do a head count. “One, two three, four, five,” I count, eyes darting around the bus. “And, six!” Okay. My group is all here. It’s an exciting time, yet as the bus lurches away from the curb, we are so pressed together that I can’t move an inch. For the hundredth time today, I think, “I must be nuts to chaperone teenagers on an overseas trip! I’m getting way too old for this!” As the ancient ruins of the Coliseum and Roman Forum zip past our tinted windows, teens trade trinkets representing their homeland with the other passengers, while singing songs in their native tongue. It’s August 2000; our church youth group flew to... (more)
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4: The Holiday Lottery from Heaven

The Holiday Lottery from Heaven Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm,for stern as death is love... ~Song of Songs 8:8 My husband grew up in a large Italian Catholic family in South Philadelphia with three families of aunts, uncles and cousins living on one block of Cross Street, and many of the other relatives just a few blocks away. Uncle Tony and Aunt Grace lived right next door to my in-laws, Philip and Rose. The two couples were especially close since Uncle Tony and Philip were brothers and Aunt Grace and Rose were sisters. In addition to being very large, and concentrated in a three-block radius, my husband’s family was unique in one particular way — the family had a category of relatives most other families do not. While the family had mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, they also had a category of relatives known as “The Deads.” My husband’s relatives talked about the Deads as if they were still alive, especially around the holidays. A typical conversation between Rose and Grace would sound like this: Grace: “Roe, what did you do today?” Rose: “Oh, I went food shopping, stopped to see the Deads, and then made my gravy.” Grace: “Oh yeah? I saw the Deads... (more)