Zak, My Boy Wonder by Joanne Lythgoe and Deb McEwan is the touching story of a boy who survives a high-risk pregnancy and premature birth followed by multiple surgeries during childhood to correct a serious and rare disfiguring cleft condition. Zak’s mother, Joanne, unfolds her son’s story of survival and struggle against many odds and credits the love and support he receives from family and friends with helping him become the charming, confident, and active boy he is today. Zak’s amazing personality and joy in life shine through to inspire other children and their parents who encounter ostracism and unkindness because they look “different.” Family photographs convey Zak’s growth from birth to boyhood. A moving poem titled “My Boy Wonder” ends the memoir, along with some words of advice from Zak himself.

I really enjoyed reading Zak, My Boy Wonder. Lythgoe and McEwan provide a well-written memoir that is sure to touch the heart of anyone and is especially meaningful for parents of children with disfiguring conditions. Lythgoe’s theme of accepting uniqueness is expressed in a Dr. Suess quote: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Her recounting of the confusion and misinformation that she and Zak’s father encountered as they planned for pre-natal care and his delivery, understanding that he would need specific specialists for his cleft, which was extensive and affected an eye, is very frustrating. But once past that, the story of Lythgoe’s determination, especially as a single parent, to see that Zak is given every chance to succeed in life and one day become the man he was meant to be, is truly amazing. Highly recommended.

Reviewed By Kimberlee J Benart for Readers’ Favorite

After a whirlwind romance, imagine the excitement of discovering you’re pregnant with a baby boy to complete your family.

Then imagine your baby is critically ill, and the medical team you trusted to help, abandon you at the last moment.

‘Zak, My Boy Wonder’ is a harrowing but inspirational true story of a mother’s fight for her son’s survival and acceptance in society, and how the military authorities deserted her family when they needed them most.

Available at Amazon worldwide.
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon everywhere else