Theo and Mary are disfigured and difficult to look at, which makes them the subject of daily ridicule in their small town. Eventually, they have driven away, forced to leave the only home they have ever known. They take their meager belongings deeply into the forest where they find an enchanting and magical world of beauty and happiness. Soon, they are blessed with a son, Ray. To Theo and Mary’s surprise, their son possesses special gifts of healing and communicating with the elements and animals. Will Ray’s magical powers be enough to teach the townspeople the true meaning of unconditional love? Can people learn to accept Theo and Mary’s family even though they are different? Come along on the adventures of a truly remarkable family as they use their powers to save others from harm and teach people the power of love and understanding.


Reviewed by Trisha Dawn Daffon for Readers’ Favorite

“A Boy Named Ray” starts with the couple Theo and Mary. These two are good people but their physical deformities had made them outcasts in the town they lived in. People were mean to them and this has driven the couple to leave the place they called home and they look for another one which will be far from any society. They have walked for a long time until they have reached a forest. It intimidated them at first as it was a mysterious and scary place, but they walked on. Soon they found a hidden haven, a small paradise. After making sure that no one lived near the place, they settled in. At first it seemed as though they had everything that they wanted but Mary, in her heart, wanted a child to complete their family. Soon they were blessed with a son and they named him Ray. As the child grew, he brought wonders to the lives of the couple and made something impossible, a miracle which they thought would never happen at all.

I like this book. The words are simple enough for anyone to understand and it made me imagine easily. I could imagine the forest, the town, the kids in the school. The words were so effective that they made me feel as though I was actually there watching them as the story unfolds. The characters are well formed. I could imagine Theo, Mary and Ray as if they were real people. All in all, the story is really that simple and it is not a bad thing. Even those who are not fond of reading would be attracted to read this because it does not have any complications. At first I thought the story was almost surreal and I was afraid people might not be able to relate to it but little by little, it showed me a possibility, a scenario, that could actually happen in real life if we make things work. It succeeded in making me feel inspired and hopeful. Lastly, I think this book would be great for kids. Ray is a great example for them to follow.


Format:Kindle Edition

I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.This is a fantastic children’s book, that takes the reader through a boat load of emotions.

Theo is a wonderful character. He has a loving heart, but he has a disfigurement that people don’t try to see behind. He has suffered a lot in his life, but with his wife, he is determined to find peace.

Mary also suffers with a disfigurement, but she is more fragile emotionally than her husband. She too has a warm and loving heart, but living in a village that only looks at the surface rather than the person underneath, takes it’s toll.

Ray is their child. He is a special boy. He seems wiser than his age, and has made friends with the wind, water, fire and earth.

As I started reading this story, I found myself wanting to shake the villagers out of their shallowness. Just because someone looks different, there is no need to call them names or be cruel. Having been on the end of taunts as a child, I know that name calling can be extremely hurtful. I fell in love with the characters as they struggled with the unjust behaviour of the villagers. Theo and Mary are great believers in strong family values like respect, love, being kind to others and listening when needed.

Ray is a sweet boy who captured my heart! His bravery is exceptional. Mind you, children very rarely think about danger; they just plough on ahead and do it. I think that we adults tend to over-analyse things, and see dangers bigger than they actually are. Ray sees a problem and tries to fix it, no matter what.

Marissa Marchan has written a book that not only entertains, but is very inspirational to children. It also teaches the importance of family and kindness and tolerance towards others. It does have a religious factor in the story telling, but it is not overly so. I recommend this book as a fantastic bedtime story to read to your children. However, if you have children of seven or older (depending on their reading age), they will be able to read it for themselves, as there are no “big” words that would confuse them. – Lynn Worton (WaAR)

A Boy Named Ray Review

I am at a loss for words with this novel. This short review does not mean that there is nothing to say it’s just that I can’t really explain it without down-grading it.

This novel was heart-warming from the start. My heart was being tugged towards the characters, reaching out to try and comfort them.

Theo and Mary are disfigured. They are subject to ridicule on a daily basis in their own home town. This horrific reality of the lack of respect towards people, especially those suffering, is easy to pass with a blind eye in today’s society, but not in this novel.

Morals are entangled within this story, along with serious issues but also with the tale of a young child who flourished from a neglected couple like the poppies on the war field.

Surrounded by negativity and ridicule, due to his parents, Ray is born with remarkable qualities that only a pure soul could possess and that we can all but wish for.

This novel was heart-warming and is certainly worth the short read.

CHILDREN’S FANTASY REVIEW: A Boy Named Ray by Marissa Marchan

“The wind lifted Ray up in the air and took off like a flash to start their journey while his parents worriedly watched as he floated away. At first, the wind carried him past the lake, past the banana and the mango trees, then past the mountains. The forest swept by; blue lakes and rivers skimmed past. Ray feasted his eyes on the details of this new and exciting place. He looped and rolled, swooping and circling, over, sideways, and under the sky laughing with sheer delight.”

Ray is a special gift from God to his parents, a physically deformed couple who had experienced much hardship in their lives. Their positive attitude, love for each other, humility and pure-heartedness – never becoming angry or revengeful with those who shunned and teased them – shine forth in the novel and although they attribute their final success to God, it is clear that it has a lot to do with their own spiritual impeccability and integrity.

The novel is written in simple language, easily understandable by children as young as five years old. Parents can read this fun, love-filled adventure to their children, and children aged seven and above may be able to read it themselves.

The serene and magical forest life that Ray’s family takes part in, leaves one with a smile and a host of warm feelings. The plot thickens when Ray starts going to school – how will the family fit in when the parents had previously been driven away by society? Being in a school enables Ray’s father to interact with his teacher, and when others finally get to know him better, they realise that he is a wonderful person, despite his gross physical appearance.

Ray’s special relationship with the elements of wind, water, fire and earth adds an interesting fantasy element to the novel. For non-Christian audiences, be aware that there are a few places where Christianity is mentioned, and that that is the religious persuasion of Ray’s parents. This does not, however, play a very central role and the book can be enjoyed by people of all denominations.

On the whole the book is fun, inspiring and it fosters co-operation, love and acceptance. A great choice if you are looking for a bedtime story to read to your kids!

REVIEW: A Boy Named Ray by Marissa Marchan

A Boy Named ray is a story about Ray, of course, and his parents Theo and Mary.

The beginning of the story is a perfect set up for tone and flow of the story. It sheds background light on Theo and Mary’s lives together and apart. From the start, I thought that the story would be one filled with sadness. Once the story picked up however, it took on a different tone. It became happy.

After many years of wanting; Theo and Mary are blessed with a son. What they don’t know at first is that Ray is a gifted child. They were afraid that because they are disfigured, that their child would be as well. But, that wasn’t the case. Instead, he was an angel. A true gift from God. 

A Boy Named Ray teaches you to never judge someone by how they appear on the outside. They could be the most disturbing looking person, but have the kindest heart and be the most loyal person you will know. This ideal is often lost in our world and people are judged based upon their appearance every day.

This story also teaches us that we should really value our family. They are the ones who will help you and guide you through the rough times in life. You have to accept that they may not always be perfect. But they love you and want you to be happy. Life is complicated. But, if you can set issues aside, your family will be there for you the majority of the time.


(formerly And Then There's Haley)



In an enchanted forest far away from civilization, Theo, and Mary, along with their son Ray and daughter Haley, live quietly and with great contentment. In this strange and mysterious place, they discover that their children were born with great natural powers. Ray possesses unique gifts, including the ability to speak with animals and the elements, while Haley talks to plants and animals. She loves to create the most extraordinary and beautiful garden full of vegetables and flowers. When Theo learns the townspeople, who drove them away many years ago hold them responsible for the devastation of his former town, he must embark on a journey to prove their innocence. When Theo and Haley mysteriously disappear, Ray needs to use his keen wits and magical abilities to find them into the most polluted and smelly place in the world!


Book Review – Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’s Favorite. Click here for the complete review.
A Magical and Inspiring Story Book Two: And Then There’s Haley by Marissa Marchan is an enchanting adventure. Theo and Mary live with their children, Ray and Haley, in a forest. Ray has the special ability to communicate with plants and animals and he enjoys gardening. There is a powerful community of gobtrolls who live hidden below Theo’s former town. The story takes a turn when Theo and Haley disappear, leaving Ray to use all his powers to find them in the smelly and polluted place.

The characters of Theo, Haley, and Ray are interesting and they all have their individuality in the story. The plot and subplots are woven and blended well, making the narration cohesive. The creation of these grizzly creatures and their dirty town is very magical. The story is enchanting as the title suggests, with a lot of whimsical characters and creatures dominating the scene. The narration is wonderfully descriptive and the author comes up with some beautiful images throughout the story, adding to the visual aspect of the theme. The creation of gobtrolls, a mix of goblins and trolls, is again innovative and unique. It is also a reflection of the creative prowess of the writer. Children love adventure, magic, and whimsy. It stimulates their creative juices and gives them free rein to dream and come up with innovative ideas. The author knows the pulse of young readers and has come up with a magical story.


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