Zak, My Boy Wonder


Non-Fiction - Parenting
105 Pages
Reviewed on 10/10/2019
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Author Biography

Joanne is a single mother and a successful businesswoman, currently working in the medical tourism business. She was in the travel industry for many years, and eventually decided to settle in Cyprus.
Joanne spends her spare time keeping fit and hanging out with family and friends.

Following a career of over thirty years in the British Army, Deb and her husband moved to Cyprus to become weather refugees.
Deb spends her time writing, hanging out with Allan and Sandy, (their rescue dog), and avoiding housework.

Over a few glasses of wine one night, Joanne shared her life story with Deb, and they decided to share part of that story by writing ‘Zak, My Boy Wonder’.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

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.