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Lester writes children’s book with a message

Zion Lester is a published author, and book one is just the beginning. Lester, a sophomore at Fayette County High, recently celebrated the release of a children’s book she co-wrote with her father, Terence.

“Zion Learns to See: Opening Our Eyes to Homelessness” tells the story of a young girl joining her dad at his work at a community center. She learns about people experiencing homelessness, and she is moved by all of the people she meets there.

The book is inspired by Lester’s own life working with her father’s organization, LoveBeyondWalls. She carries that message with her everywhere.

“It really inspired me, so I decided to start a campaign at my school to spread awareness about homelessness and what it really means,” she said. “Together with my schoolmates, we raised money to make a difference in our community. It's all about showing that, even as a teenager, you can have a big impact on the world around you.”

Lester has always had a passion for writing and poetry. She would create pretend children’s books and dream of one day becoming a published author. At the age of 10, she shared her dream with her dad, and, together, they decided to turn it into a reality by co-authoring a children's book.

“Working on this project with my dad has been incredible. Not only did it fulfill a lifelong dream of mine, but it also brought us even closer together,” she said. “Being able to collaborate creatively has strengthened our bond in ways I never imagined possible.”

The story behind the story comes from that bond.

“The idea for the story sparked from the special connection I share with my dad and the invaluable lessons he's taught me since I was young,” said Lester. “Growing up, I learned about compassion and empathy through our shared experiences, especially in our efforts to help the unhoused in our community.”

Seeing the finished product is something she will never forget.

“Experiencing my story in print for the first time was beyond words. It was like a dream come true. My dad was right there with me, and we were both just in awe,” she said. “Holding the book in my hands, seeing the illustrations and colors jump off the pages - it was surreal. It made all those late nights and weekends spent writing totally worth it. It felt like a validation of all the hard work we put in. It was like seeing a piece of my imagination come to life right before my eyes, and it was the coolest feeling ever.”

Lester plans on it being just the first of many books.

“I've got big plans to dive into more children's books or maybe even try my hand at a chapter book,” she said. “Like with ‘Zion Learns to See,’ which is all about homelessness, I want to keep shining a light on important stuff that people need to know about. Writing more stories that make a difference is definitely in my future.”

“Zion Learns to See” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever books are sold.


Posted 4/9/2024