Zion Learns to See: Opening Our Eyes to Homelessness, By Terence Lester and Zion Lester
Zion Learns to See
  • Length: 32 pages
  • Dimensions: 9 × 9 in
  • Published: March 12, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Kids
  • Item Code: A0669
  • ISBN: 9781514006696

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Every person matters to God. And that means every person should matter to us.

Zion has no idea what she's getting into when she decides to join her dad at his work on Saturday. But she quickly discovers that a day at the community center brings new and wonderful people into her life. Join Zion as she learns about people experiencing homelessness, and see how she is moved to respond as she recognizes that all people matter to God.

Inspired by real-life events, this story written by Terence Lester and Zion Lester, and illustrated by Subi Bosa, will be enjoyed by children and the adults who read with them. Also included is a note from the author to encourage further conversation about the content.

Discover IVP Kids and share with children the things that matter to God!

"Zion Learns to See is a delightful read and a necessary nudge. In the Gospels, Jesus was filled with compassion when he saw people who were marginalized by society and religion. This book gives us an opportunity to be like Jesus and motivates readers to join Zion in seeing and loving our neighbors as fellow image bearers. Let's be that generation empowered with a fresh vision of neighborly love, building a better world where everyone flourishes!"

Dorena Williamson, bridge builder and author of The Celebration Place

"With beautiful illustrations and powerful storytelling, Zion Learns to See shows readers that living a life of love depends on both our words and our actions, and we each have a unique role in being God's hands and feet. Through Zion's eyes, we are reminded of timeless, invaluable truths: dignity is for everyone, generosity is contagious, and no one is invisible."

Danielle Coke Balfour, artivist and author of A Heart on Fire

"I wholeheartedly recommend reading my daughter's inspiring book, where a young girl's compassion and kindness shine as she befriends and supports a person experiencing homelessness. This touching story beautifully captures the importance of empathy and the impact of small acts of kindness. I'm incredibly proud of her for creating a narrative that fosters understanding and compassion in readers of all ages."

Cecilia Lester, corporate professional, community leader, and cofounder of Love Beyond Walls

"Zion Learns to See is a heartwarming children's book that tackles a sensitive topic with grace and compassion. Through the eyes of young Zion, readers embark on a journey of understanding and empathy as she accompanies her father to work and discovers the realities of people experiencing homelessness. This beautifully illustrated story not only educates children about the challenges faced by those without stable homes but also instills in them the importance of kindness, compassion, and the power of small acts of generosity. Zion Learns to See is a must-read for parents, teachers, and children. It encourages conversations about social issues and nurtures a sense of community and care for others."

Latasha Morrison, author of Be the Bridge and founder and CEO of Be the Bridge

"I so, so appreciate all the IVP Kids line, and this one is a standout. It is written with such joy and warmth, but yet, quietly at times, shouts 'every person matters to God — and that means every person should matter to us.' "

Hearts and Minds Books, May 2024

"A heartwarming children's book fostering empathy and awareness about homelessness. Zion Learns to See invites young readers to see the world through a lens of hope and compassion while empowering youth to take action in their communities."

Black PR Wire, March 2024

"We appreciate this book's exploration of a topic that is rare in children's books — naming economic disparities. The diversity of faces and ages in the illustrations are powerful and important . . . ."

Social Justice Books, March 2024

A Look Inside

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Terence Lester

Terence Lester (PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies, Union Institute and University) is a minister, speaker, community activist, author, and founder of Love Beyond Walls, a not-for-profit organization focused on poverty awareness and community mobilization. His campaigns on behalf of the poor, including #LoveSinksIn, have been featured in USA TodayBlack Enterprise Essence, and Reader's Digest. They have been viewed by millions of people globally on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS News, NBC, Upworthy, and "The Bright Side" with Katie Couric. His books include When We Stand, I See You, Getting Past Stuck, Simple Prayers for Hurting People, and Identity Theft.

Zion Lester

Zion Lester became interested in the work her dad, Terence Lester, was doing on a Saturday morning when she was seven years old. Since then, she has grown to become a community leader, writer, and speaker. She has also continued to regularly serve with Love Beyond Walls and encourages others her age and younger to volunteer too.