The Truth About Zachary

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#299: “The Truth About Zachary”
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Romans 5:1-3

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

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The Truth About Zachary

“The Truth About Zachary” is episode #299 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Marshal Younger and Paul Malm, and originally aired on January 28, 1995.


Lucy Cunningham-Schultz tries to write a news article about Zachary Sellers and find out why he's in a wheelchair.


Zachary Sellers is the new kid in town. He’s unusual, in more ways than one. The most obvious characteristic about Zach is that he’s in a wheelchair. But Zachary is also very intelligent. He’s able to fix the electric train when even Eugene can’t repair it. Unfortunately, Zachary is so bitter about being crippled that he treats everyone around him with rudeness and, sometimes, cruelty.

Lucy wants to get to know him, but she mistakenly tries to get Zach to open up in front of their entire class. Zach embarrasses himself and everyone in the class. He marks Lucy down as one of his enemies. This makes Lucy’s next assignment for the Odyssey Owl, interviewing the newest kid in school, Zachary Sellers, all the more difficult.

Unfortunately, Zach is insulted by Lucy’s natural curiosity about how Zach became crippled. He rightly tells Lucy that it’s none of her business. He even turns the tables on her by demanding to know why she has two last names: Cunningham-Schultz. But Lucy ignores his question. She continues to press Zach until he finally blurts out the truth: A drunk driver hit their family car. It killed Zach’s dad and crippled Zach.

Later, Jack Allen tells Lucy she needs to come up with a way to show Zach that she’s his friend. The next day, Lucy visits Zach. He is still cold to her, until Lucy explains why she has two last names. Her dad was also killed in a car accident, and her mom remarried. Zach warms up to Lucy, and the two of them talk about their fathers.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Zach so bitter?
  2. Should Lucy have suggested that Zach tell the class about himself?
    • Why or why not?
  3. What should you do when someone you’re trying to make friends with treats you badly?
  4. Why did Lucy tell Zach about her dad?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Mr. Burton Erv Immerman
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Eileen Sellars Vaughn Taylor
Jack Allen Alan Young
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz Genni Long
Mr. Winthrop Phil Lollar
Zachary Sellars Chris Castile

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Eugene Meltsner Jack Allen
Jason Whittaker Connie Kendall
Michael Sellars Zachary Sellars
Hal Cunningham Lucy Cunningham-Schultz


  • The real reason Lucy has two last names is because... the writers goofed!
See Lucy's Last Name for more.
  • In this episode, Jack says that Connie took Zach upstairs in the elevator. It was never mentioned before or again.
  • Although in this episode Lucy says her dad worked for the Odyssey Times, in #79: “Our Best Vacation Ever” it was established that George Barclay worked with her dad. But later, George lost his job and went to the Times for a job and got turned down. He would not be looking for a job from the same employer who just laid him off. It is possible, however, that Lucy's dad had two jobs.


Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: There's no controversy. I just talked to Mrs. Manco. They've decided not to put diced tomatoes in the tacos.

Zachary Sellars: Look, if you'll leave me alone, I will personally go up to your editor and tell him how hard you've worked on this interview and that I've been impossible to work with.

Zachary Sellars: Alright, if that's the way you want it, answer a question for me. Why do you have two last names?

Zachary Sellars: Let's just face it, you want the dirt. You want to know exactly what put me in this wheelchair and so does everybody else. Fine, I'll make everybody happy. I had surgery on my legs last month because I tore some ligaments. There. <pauses> You're not writing this down.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: I don't believe you.
Zachary Sellars: Okay, fine. Um, I was skiing and fell off a mountain.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: Is that the truth?
Zachary Sellars: I was bungee jumping and the cable broke.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: What really happened?
Zachary Sellars: I was filming a rock video and stepped on some dry ice.

Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: His name was Hal Cunningham. I was Cunningham before my mom got remarried. He was a reporter for the Odyssey Times. I guess that's why I always wanted to be a reporter.

Zachary Sellars: I... didn't know.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: How could you? All you care about is feeling sorry for yourself!

Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: It takes a very talented person to do something that Eugene can't do.