Braydon Harrington went viral after bonding with President Joe Biden over his stutter and delivering a stirring speech during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Now, the New Hampshire teen is writing a children’s book to inspire other kids like him and the president. Following the performance of poet Amanda Gorman, who also overcame a speech impediment before becoming an instant star at the inauguration, children with speech differences have a lot to celebrate this week.
It all began when Harrington’s parents brought him to a Biden presidential campaign event hoping to show him a stutter does not have to block his opportunities in life. His father told CNN, stuttering “didn’t stand in the way for Joe Biden, and it hasn’t stood in the way for [Braydon]”.
During his televised DNC speech, the 13-year-old said he hoped Biden’s presidency would show other kids with a stutter “that they matter. … It’s a huge part of our life because there’s a president being elected that has a speech issue.”
— Biden Inaugural Committee (@BidenInaugural) January 21, 2021
Harrington credited Biden for showing him how he practiced reading poetry to make the words easier to say out loud and helping him feel more confident.
“When I learned I had the opportunity to speak at the Democratic National Convention, I was so nervous!” Harrington said in a statement. “What got me through and helped motivate me was knowing I could be a voice for other children who stutter as well as anyone else who has faced challenges. I only hope my story provides a little extra support and motivation for those that need it.”
On Tuesday, HarperCollins Children’s Books announced Brayden Harrington’s picture book Brayden Speaks Up will be illustrated by Betty C. Tang and released August 10 (though it’s available for pre-order now). Harrington is also penning a middle-grade novel scheduled for 2022.
On Wednesday, Harrington was featured in President Biden’s Wednesday night’s inauguration special, Celebrating America, which included celebrity performances by Demi Lovato, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Katy Perry. What an honor it must have been for them to appear in a show with Brayden!
Add these books by Black authors and illustrators to your kids’ shelves.
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