Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Christmas gift of a lifetime for local young writer, Brandon Hudson

Local young man's dream comes true as he becomes a published author for Christmas - Brandon Hudson's heartwarming story of a boy's first visit to the zoo is filled with wonder and joy.

Brandon Hudson could not have prepared for the gift he received on Christmas Day. His mom, Denise, secretly took the completed manuscript Brandon had worked on for the past eight years, and made his original dream a reality. 

Kenny's Inspiration: A Boy's First Visit to the Zoo

The story, inspired by Brandon’s young cousin, Kenny, is about a boy who visits a zoo for the first time. He is amazed by the animals he sees and the day is filled with wonder and joy.

“I have a learning disability and my cousin also has a disability as well. When he was little, I was drawn to him and I wanted to pray for him and ask God to heal him from his disability because he wasn’t going to talk,” Brandon says. “And after I prayed over him, he started to say words and speak.”

Denise explains that Brandon began having epileptic seizures when he was two days old. At age four, doctors discovered a cyst on Brandon’s brain that caused a significant learning disability and made it difficult for him to learn to read. As an adult, the Hudsons discovered that Brandon was autistic.

Denise and her husband, David, are so proud of their son, who overcame many challenges in his life to arrive at where he is today. 

“With his early start, it took him a while to learn to read with his learning disability,” Denise says. “It’s just amazed me and his dad.”

Brandon with his newly published book, Kenny Goes to the Zoo.

Filled with Wonder and Joy: Brandon's Dream Comes True

Denise says Brandon started writing Kenny Goes to the Zoo in 2015, and she knew his one wish was to have it published, so she reached out to her best friend, Sheila Bunch, who works for a publishing company and the two silently went to work. Denise added the illustrations and kept all of the content as Brandon had originally written it. 

After months of research and hard work, Denise, her husband, and their other two sons, Ryan and Jason, were ready to surprise Brandon with his published book for Christmas.  

“He was overwhelmed and started to cry along with all of us,” Denise says of Brandon’s reaction when he opened the unique gift.

“At first it was kind of hard to come up with what to put in the story,” Brandon explained of the writing experience. He used Disney music, one of his favorite things, as an added inspiration to help him put the story on paper. 

The newly published author has planned to turn Kenny’s adventures into a series. The next book features Kenny visiting a museum. He is already working on it. 

In addition, Brandon and his family will be using proceeds from the books to donate to causes that are near and dear to their hearts. 

Brandon with his newly published book, Kenny Goes to the Zoo.

“A portion of all of our sales on Amazon is going to the autism and epilepsy foundation,” Denise says.

Brandon’s parents and brothers are hopeful this is the path Brandon is meant to take and are hopeful he will continue to write and create.

“This may be what God has for him,” Denise says. “. . . to write books to show that people with a disability can do things.”

Brandon has a closing message for other young men and women who may be struggling with similar challenges in their lives: “You are never alone. No matter how hard it is, you can always do great things even when you have a disability.”

To order Kenny Goes to the Zoo by Brandon Hudson, click here.