Owen the Wonderer is a book series that teaches elementary aged children about disabilities and inclusion. Young readers learn how to be respectfully curious about differences in this creative, fun story! 

In the first book of the series, Owen is curious about McKenzie, the new student in his class. She acts a little different than the rest of his classmates and looks a little different too. Owen gathers up the courage to ask a teacher about McKenzie and discovers she has Down syndrome. Using tips he learns from his teacher, Owen invites McKenzie to play on his team at recess, comes to her defense during an embarrassing situation in the lunchroom and helps her with her math homework. The two become quick friends, and Owen learns that McKenzie is not all that different after all. 

Parents and teachers enjoy the guided questions at the end of the story to help facilitate conversations with children about what they learned from Owen and McKenzie. Advocates of those with intellectual disabilities appreciate the unique perspective of a neurotypical child who wants to include and befriend a peer with Down syndrome.

Authors Amanda Owen and Ashley Wedding both work for Puzzle Pieces, a nonprofit that serves more than 400 individuals with intellectual disabilities in Owensboro, Kentucky. Amanda is the founder and Executive Director while Ashley serves as the nonprofit’s Public Relations Director. This book and all future books in the series serve as a fundraiser for Puzzle Pieces, which will receive 25% of all sales.

Lesson plans that go along with the story as well as celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st are available for purchase.

This book is paperback and measures 11 x 8.5 inches.

Owen the Wonderer Lesson Plans

Invest in an Owen the Wonderer lesson plan packet — perfect for elementary aged children. Lessons include academic areas like the writing process and comparing and contrasting characters as well as lessons on inclusion, investigating your own school’s accessibility and celebrating World Down Syndrome Day (on March 21). 

Upon purchase, this lesson plan packet will be emailed to you by the authors. Amanda and Ashley welcome conversation about how to best incorporate their book and the lesson plans into your classroom or home. They are open to books readings, meet the author events and more. Just email owenthewonderer@gmail.com for more information!