A nonverbal autistic boy named Ronan made music history in 2019 when his spontaneous, exclamatory "Wow" after a Boston Handel & Haydn Society concert was caught on a radio recording that went viral. Stories on CBS, NPR, and dozens of outlets reached more than 70 million listeners.
Todd has crafted it into a children's story, due in Summer 2023 from the Beach Lane imprint of Simon & Schuster.
An alternately loud and quiet portrait exploring the power of music to reach the private mind, The Boy Who Said Wow was adapted to video for Classical Kids Storytime by Minnesota Public Radio in 2020, with illustrations by Nancy Carlson. It quickly became the most popular CKS video ever, with 100,000 views in its first week alone. Subscribe on Todd's ABOUT page for news of the book's release.
This is absolutely, utterly incredible. I'm blown away by hearing this
beautiful portrayal of our boy brought to life in sound and illustration.
Truly such an AMAZING gift!
— Rachel, Ronan's mother
Click here to watch and listen to The Boy Who Said Wow.
Ronan's "Wow" has already been heard by millions of adults around the world. I want kids to hear it too. I loved the process of interviewing Ronan's family and members of the orchestra to develop this project, and I'm grateful to them for sharing the story with me. There's still a nonverbal little boy in me that's forever grateful to Ronan, too, for expressing the inexpressible.