“The Secret Lion”

Author Alberto Álvaro Ríos tells this wonderfully conversational coming of age tale that is somewhat autobiographical. Ríos is an educator and an author, too, and still actively involved in the academic community. Check out his Web page:

Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Also, if you’d like to read a very interesting interview with Ríos conducted for an English class at Northwest Arkansas Community College in October, 2001, check out this Web page:

Interview with Ríos

Of particular note, you may want to read an essay that Ríos wrote shortly after September 11, 2001. It’s quite poignant and, in a way, relates to “The Secret Lion” at least in terms of its theme of loss of innocence:

The Night of No Airplanes (Text)

Finally, you may want to read the story “The Secret Lion.”

The Secret Lion (Text)


“Secondhand Lions”

Two of the finest actors of the past 30 years – and one of the best emerging young talents – star in Tim McCanlies’ 2003 film “Secondhand Lions.”
What does it mean to be past your prime? How does it feel to be unwanted? What happens to your self-confidence when you find out that you’re being used? McCanlies explores each of these questions. But he also helps us discover answers to more positive questions, too. What happens when we overcome our prejudices? How does it feel to be accepted and deeply loved? What is it like to have a strong mentor or role model?
When you combine this film with the reading of “The Secret Lion,” the theme of coming of age must also be considered. How does the narrator in “Secret Lion” compare with Walter in “Secondhand Lions”? In what ways does each traverse the journey from childhood to adulthood – from innocence to experience, as the English poet William Blake so eloquently described? What gets taken away from the narrator in “Secret Lion”? From Walter in “Secondhand Lions”? Is it a paradox that as we gain knowledge through experience, that our innocence is taken away?
We’ll consider each of these questions as well as continue to investigate the importance of story-telling on the human experience.

Here are some links for the film:

IMDB – “Secondhand Lions”
Roger Ebert’s review of “Secondhand Lions”
“Secondhand Lions” dialogue
Secondhand_Lions Script


Secondhand Lions & The Secret Lion Assignment (E9R)