Beautiful Boy: A fathers journey through his sons addiction

Sheff, David

Publication date:

Sheff, D. (2008). Beautiful boy: A father’s journey through his son’s addiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.




This text is a memoir written by author David Sheff. The book covers the struggles of addition on David’s son oldest son Nic. Its a first hand look on addiction from a loving parents and all the struggles the disease of addiction can cause. He documents all kinds of things his own son did during his addiction from stealing money from his family to being arrested in front of his younger siblings and speaks on what a danger his son had become on his own family. Sheff has a conflict throughout the memoir wondering if it is his fault or if he did something different would Nic have been a different person. Through out the book Nic attends many rehab centers and many times he relapses but when the book was published David tells the audience Nic has been sober for one year. He believes and hopes it is the last time Nic, his family and himself will have to o through the terrible disease called addiction, but also knows it is a disease and Nic could struggle and fall again to its clutches.



This book is carries a Flesch-Kincaid grade level score of 3.5. Which is a low score for the 10th grade focus but the writing is very heart felt and really conveys the value of a support system and also shows the real life struggle that drugs can create. It also is low due to a low syllables per word of 1.2 per word and 12.1 word per sentence. I think it would be suitable for 10th graders because it is a real story and they might be able to create their own values and create their own views on drug abuse while using this story as a prevention method.

Use in Class

I would use this book as a in class text set and select chapters to read while creating critical thinking discussion questions.I also can have a end of the book assessment as in a presentation, essay, written test, or even a book report. This book has many options to how it can be assessed but i think the memoir could really reach the students,

Unit Focus


Submitted by Christian Kelley

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