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What Stories Does My Son Need?: A Guide to Books and Movies That Build Character in Boys


In an annotated list including movies such as High Noon and Glory, and books such as The Giving Tree and To Kill a Mockingbird, therapist and educator Gurian highlights the particular ethical lessons two hundred great stories can impart to boys and young men.

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What Stories Does My Son Need?: A Guide to Books and Movies that Build Character in Boys

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In an annotated list including movies such as High Noon and Glory, and books such as The Giving Tree and To Kill a Mockingbird, therapist and educator Gurian highlights the particular ethical lessons two hundred great stories can impart to boys and young men.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Psychotherapist and father Gurian is the author of several previous books on parenting sons (A Fine Young Man and The Wonder of Boys). Here, he focuses on the role stories and movies play in shaping boys' character and in teaching moral lessons. After an introductory chapter about the need for stories and movies, Gurian identifies and summarizes 100 movies and 100 books and suggests questions for parents to ask when discussing these books and movies with their sons. The listings are arranged according to the age at which Gurian believes they are appropriate: preschool, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. The list, of course, is not inclusive, and most of the selections would also suit daughters. Parents and others who work with children can use this as a selection tool and as a model for choosing other titles not included. Recommended for public and college libraries.-Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585420407
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 608,834
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.52 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Gurian is a psychotherapist and bestselling author whose books include The Wonder of Boys and The Good Son. His work reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and American) in which he lived, worked, and studied. He has taught psychology, religion, mythology, and literature at three American universities and at Ankara University in Turkey. He lives with his wife and two children in Spokane, Washington.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Stories a Boy Needs

100 Movies




Beauty and the Beast

Free Willy

Iron Giant, The

Lassie Come Home

Lion King, The

Miracle on 34th Street


Peter Pan


Prince of Egypt, The

Swiss Family Robinson

Sword in the Stone, The

Elementary School

Lower Grades 1-3:

Captains Courageous

Cool Runnings

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

It's a Wonderful Life

Old Yeller

Pride of the Yankees, The

Princess Bride, The


Treasure Island

Where the Red Fern Grows


Upper Grades 4-6:

Bear, The

Beethoven Lives Upstairs

Black Stallion, The

Brian's Song

Empire of the Sun

Forrest Gump

Gods Must Be Crazy, The

Iron Will

Karate Kid

My Bodyguard

Never Cry Wolf



Simon Birch

Sound of Music, The

Ten Commandments, The

Three Wishes

To Kill a Mockingbird


Middle School

Apollo 13


Bridge on the River Kwai, The

Chariots of Fire

Color Purple, The

Dances with Wolves

Dead Poets Society

Edward Scissorhands

Elephant Man, The

Field of Dreams



Grapes of Wrath, The

High Noon




Men Don't Leave

Mr. Holland's Opus

Places in the Heart


Searching for Bobby Fischer


Stand by Me

Vision Quest

White Squall

High School

Accidental Tourist, The

Accused, The

Blood In, Blood Out

Boyz N the Hood


Bronx Tale, A



Deer Hunter, The

Edge, The


Good Will Hunting


In and Out

Inside Moves

Judgment at Nuremberg

Kramer vs. Kramer

Life Is Beautiful

Matrix, The

Man for All Seasons, A

Mississippi Burning

October Sky

Paths of Glory

Prince of Tides, The

Saving Private Ryan

Scent of a Woman

Schindler's List

Shawshank Redemption, The

Simple Plan, A


100 Books


Aesop's Fables

Boy Who Held Back the Sea, The

Butter Battle Book, The

Drummer Boy

Emperor's New Clothes, The

Giving Tree, The

Grouchy Ladybug, The

Island Baby

Man Who Kept His Heart in a Bucket, The

My Little Book About God

Paper Crane, The

Plane Song

Snowy Day, The


What Is God?

Where the Wild Things Are

Yes! Yo?

Elementary School

Lower Grades 1-3:

Firestorm at Kookaburra Station

Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales, The

Like Jake and Me

Little Prince, The

Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man

Minstrel in the Tower, The

Mint Cookie Miracles

Stories Julian Tells, The

Stuart Little

When Dinosaurs Die

Wind in the Willows, The


Upper Grades 4-6:

Black Beauty

Bridge to Terabithia

Charlotte's Web

Chronicles of Narnia, The

Curse of the Blue Figurine, The

Defeat of the Ghost Riders

Gathering of Days, A

Indian in the Cupboard, The

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Phantom Tollbooth, The

Sees Behind Trees

Stuck in Neutral

Whipping Boy, The

Middle School

Animal Farm

Bless the Beasts and the Children

Call of the Wild, The

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Education of Little Tree, The

Grapes of Wrath, The

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Hobbit, The

If Rock and Roll Were a Machine

Johnny Tremain

Jonathan Livingston Seagull


Lord of the Flies

Master Puppeteer, The

Moves Make the Man, The

Nothing But the Truth

Old Man and the Sea, The

Ordinary Genius: The Story of Albert Einstein

Pearl, The

Red Pony, The

Robinson Crusoe

Running Loose

Shiloh Trilogy, The


Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes


Walt Whitman

Wizard of Earthsea, A

High School

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The

American Mystic, An

Billy Budd

Black Like Me

Brave New World

Catcher in the Rye, The

Chinese Handcuffs

Chosen, The

David Copperfield

Diary of a Young Girl, The

Ender's Game


Great Expectations

Jungle, The


Of Mice and Men

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Painted Bird, The

Red Badge of Courage, The

Scarlet Letter, The

Separate Peace, A


Sophie's World

Stranger in a Strange Land

Things Fall Apart

To Kill a Mockingbird

Tuesdays with Morrie

Watership Down

Alphabetical Index of All Movies

Alphabetical Index of All Books

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