Book & Film List

Core Reading List

WYA’s book list is intended to help our members develop their understanding of the human person as they work to build a culture of life around the world. Each book was chosen for its relevance to the work of the World Youth Alliance and because it contributes in some way to a fuller understanding of the intrinsic dignity of the human person. We highly recommend reading these books as they will help you better understand the ideas and language needed to build societies that affirm the dignity of each person.

Core Film List

The WYA film list is a selection of films that explore the truths of the human person and the drama of the human condition. They are intended to help our members reflect more deeply on what it means to be human. The films, coming from all over the world, look at specific themes related to our common humanity – the search for meaning, justice, freedom and peace, as well as the need for beauty inherent in human nature. These themes are relevant to the work of the World Youth Alliance and aim to contribute to our members’ growth in understanding WYA’s vision of the human person, and to enhance the capacity for empathy and solidarity.

Book and Film Discussion Groups

WYA provides question and answer guides for group leaders to help facilitate the discussion of the films. Copies of the films are available at the WYA Regional Offices. Some copies may also be purchased on

If you would like to learn more about setting up a book or film discussion or to request copies of the discussion guides, please contact your regional office. WYA has offices at the following locations:

Click here to download the information packet about the book list.

Recommended Books

Man’s Search for Meaning
By Viktor Frankl
[Discussion Guide]
A World Made New
By Mary Ann Glendon
[Discussion Guide]
Man and the State
By Jacques Maritain
[Discussion Guide]
Centesimus Annus
By Pope John Paul II
[Discussion guide]
The Tipping Point
By Malcolm Gladwell
[Discussion Guide]
Lost in the Cosmos
By Walker Percy
[Discussion Guide]
Brave New Family
By G.K. Chesterton
[Discussion Guide]
Only the Lover Sings
By Josef Pieper
[Discussion Guide]
Fatal Misconception
By Matthew Connelly
[Discussion Guide]
The Invisible Cure
By Helen Epstein
[Discussion Guide]
The Bottom Billion
By Paul Collier
[Discussion Guide]
Broken Promises
By Edward Green
[Discussion Guide]
Unnatural Selection
By Mara Hvistendahl
[Discussion Guide]
White Man’s Burden
By William Easterly
[Discussion Guide]

Click here to download the information packet about the film list.

Recommended Films

Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
Directed by Marilyn Agrelo
Rating: PG
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Directed by Wim Wenders
Rating: G
Children of Heaven (1997)
Directed by Bacheha-Ye baseman
Rating: PG
Les Choristes (2004)
Directed by Christophe Barratier
Rating: PG-13
Lumumba (2000)
Directed by Raoul Peck
Rating: Not rated
* Viewer discretion advised on account of violence.
The Shawshank Redemption  (1994)
Directed by Frank Darabont
Rating: R
* Viewer discretion advised on account of violence.
 Schindelr’s List  (1993)
Directed by Stephen Spielberg
Rating: R
*Viewer discretion advisedon account of subject matter.
Hero (2004)
Directed by Yimou Zhang
Rating: PG-13
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Directed by Roberto Begnini
Rating: PG-13
Babette’s Feast (1987)
Directed by Gabriel Axel
Rating: G
The Best of Men (2012)
Directed by Tim Whitby
Rating: PG-13