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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

13-year-old who bonded with Joe Biden over stutter has book deal


 The teenager whom President-elect Joe Biden befriended as a fellow stutterer, and who will be part of a primetime inaugural special, has a book coming out this summer. Brayden Harrington's picture story "Brayden Speaks Up" will be released August 10, HarperCollins Children's Books announced Tuesday.

Harrington, 13, is a New Hampshire resident who met Mr. Biden in February while the Democratic candidate was at a town hall event in Concord. They later spoke backstage and Harrington, who has praised Mr. Biden for giving him confidence, addressed the Democratic National Convention last August in a video that was viewed millions of times.

Books-Breyden HarringtonThen Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hugs Brayden Harrington at a campaign stop in Gilford, N.H. on Feb. 10, 2020.  Andrew Harnik / AP

"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,"

Harrington, whose first book will be illustrated by Betty C. Tang, has a middle-grade novel scheduled for 2022. He will be among the featured guests Wednesday night during a 90-minute "Celebrating America" program that will help mark Mr. Biden's inauguration as president.

In November, Harrington and his parents were asked by "CBS This Morning" correspondent Mireya Villarreal about what Mr. Biden's win means to them.

"I see him as a role model," Brayden said. "He stutters, and he made it, like, this far in life, as a president-elect, and that's really, I would say, brave of him to put himself out there, for the whole country, and to be a leader. And that's just really great of him, to just push himself."

Villarreal asked, "How does it make you feel knowing that Brayden's voice was heard and respected at a very pivotal moment in our country?"

"It's very emotional for me, too, I think for all of us," Jessica Harrington replied. "We're very proud of him. I think what we've been given has been a gift and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We actually got to see firsthand what our soon-to-be president of the United States is like as a normal human being. He had a huge impact on our family."

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