2021 TIME Kid of the Year Orion Jean to Publish Children's Book on Kindness and Character: Race to Kindness to Release May 2024

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Zonderkidz is pleased to announce that 12-year-old Orion Jean, the 2021 TIME Magazine Kid of the Year, will publish a children’s picture book titled Race to Kindness, releasing May 7, 2024.

Race to Kindness

Illustrated by Darshika Varma, the book is inspired by Orion’s accomplishments of getting over a half million books donated to children and collecting over 100,000 meals for the food insecure in his community and across the country, all beginning when he was 9.

The book shows a boy who takes on small acts of kindness – like a smile or a wave – to bigger actions – where everyone matters and everyone can make a difference. Based on Orion’s Be K.I.N.D. initiative, the characters in the book use the letters in the word kind to “Keep your eyes open,” “Include others,” think about how “Nothing is too small” and to”Do something about it” when someone is struggling or facing a challenge.    

This one book deal with Jean was acquired by Katherine Easter, Acquisitions Editor for Zonderkidz/HarperCollins, for world rights. 

“Orion’s story was so inspiring to us and we want to help him reach more young readers with this message of kindness to do what they can, from wherever they are. Working with Orion and his family has been a true joy! His passion fits our publishing mission so well,” says Megan Dobson, Vice President and Publisher of Zonderkidz.

More information on Jean and the new book can be found here:  www.racetokindnessbook.com  His profile as the 2021 TIME Kid of the Year when he was 11 can be found here:  https://time.com/6144632/kidoftheyear2021orionjean/ Orion makes his home in Mansfield, Texas where he looks forward to attending 8th grade this fall. 

The book is now available for pre-orders wherever books are sold. Advance review copies of the book and media interviews are available upon request; please contact Publicity Director Jessica Westra at jessica.westra@harpercollins.com. A full media tour is planned for May 2024.

About the book: 

Race to Kindness 

Author: TIME 2021 Kid of the Year Orion Jean 

Illustrator: Darshika Varma 


Hardcover picture book, ages 4 – 8 (will also be available in audio and e-book) 

Release date: May 7, 2024 

Publisher: Zonderkidz 

Zonderkidz™, the children’s division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imaginative, innovative and educational resources that represent a Christian worldview and build up God’s children and teens. For additional information, please visit www.zonderkidz.com.  

Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan’s offices are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

Media Contact:

Jessica Westra

Director of Publicity, Zonderkidz


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SOURCE Zonderkidz


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