When Matthew is almost twelve years old, his grandfather, Sam, decides it's time for him to get to know the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a sage the boy has never heard of. During their frequent meetings, Sam introduces Matthew to Emerson's sophisticated notions and wisdoms. Emerson's words, delivered in the essay Self-Reliance and in other writings, teach Matthew practical concepts that give greater meaning to life and help him successfully overcome difficulties for himself and his family. At the same time, Sam and Matthew develop a very special and loving relationship. In Waldo Emerson, My Grandfather, and Me, author Eugene X. Perticone shows that although circumstances and the problems of life may seem different and more complex in our time, the best solutions haven't changed much. The wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson as it pertains to both worldly and spiritual matters is shown to be as relevant today as in the time it was written, and a grandfather's approach to teaching this to his grandson results in happiness for both of them as well as many others in the boy's life.