Guidance for a boyish soul can also be found in Hugh Downs' Letter to a Great Grandson: A Message of Love, Advice, and Hopes for the Future. Shortly after the birth of his great-grandson, Downs began writing a collection of ruminations and advice, spread across 17 "ages" his young descendant could hope to reach. The book is a wonderful mix of biographical tidbits, life experiences and wisdom on everything from family relationships to love. This is not a tale for children, but a man's philosophy on what it means to live, grow and learn, at every stage of life. Howard Shirley is a writer and father in Nashville.

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