June grew up in Versailles, Missouri, with four brothers and three sisters. Her brother Richard, who had Down's syndrome, was the pattern for "Punky" in her novel, THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS. Punky is a comical little man who pours out the shampoo and throws chicken bones behind the TV.
Of June's five novels for young adults, THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS, published in 1992, remains the favorite among her readers. She often visits schools to tell "the story behind the story."
Below is a sampling of the letters she receives from teachers:
A teacher in Kansas: "Every year I read the book to my seventh graders. It never fails that we cry together. This year they were asked to write a short paper on the life lessons the book teaches us. You would be delighted to see what they wrote about Down's syndrome, life, death, friendship, forgiveness, and jumping to conclusions . . . ."
A fifth-grade teacher in Missouri: "Thank you for talking to us about your books, your love of writing, and your brother, Richard. (Our students) have certainly been forever touched by the spirit of 'Punky.' You have inspired these children to no longer use that word retard and to treat those who have differences with kindness and respect . . . ."
A seventh-grade teacher in Georgia: "Each day, many of the students meet me at the classroom door and ask if we are going to get to read about 'Punky.' They love your characters. The books make us cry, laugh, think and relax. They transport us to a town in Missouri where we are forced to face some of life's hardest lessons . . . ."
To schedule an author visit, or for more information, please contact June by phone or mail.
THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS
Delrita, 13, is an only child--but not exactly. Having her uncle in the house is like having a little brother. Punky, 35, has Downs syndrome, and although she loves him dearly, she cant help being ashamed of him.
TURTLE ON A FENCE POST
Delrita, 14, is adrift after the death of her parents and her uncle Punky. Will she get along with her prissy aunt Queenie? Will she fall in love with Tree? Find out in this sequel to THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS.
WHEN PIGS FLY
While chasing after her little sister with Down's syndrome, Buddy, 13, unravels the mystery surrounding 15-year-old Dallas. Though Dallas scavenges from other people's junk and he smells like dirt and mustard, he doesn't seem strange to Buddy when she learns his deep, dark secret.
The birthmark on Glorys face has made her shy and miserable. Then she meets Marvalene, 13, who breezes into town with the carnival. Though Marvalene has selfish motives and even fakes psychic powers, she helps Glory see past the birthmark and into herself.
ON HER WAY: STORIES AND POEMS ABOUT GROWING UP GIRL
"Flying Free" is June Rae Wood's short story in this anthology edited by Sandy Asher. It's the 1950's and Joretta, 13, wears braces on her legs because of polio. When her mother disappears, Joretta has to figure out whether to "fly free" or go through life feeling sorry for herself.
It is supported by
|Springfield/Greene County Libraries
Link to or join MISSOURI WRITES FOR KIDS!/Get an Author Web Page
Return to Top