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Boy bullied for his love of reading receives books, support from authors

A 13-year-old boy who was bullied for his love of reading has gained support from authors, who have sent him copies of their own books.

Callum Manning, from South Shields, England, had just started in a new school when the bullying began.

“Can’t believe how awful kids are,” his older sister Ellis said on Twitter last Saturday, Feb. 29, detailing what happened to Callum.

She explained that Callum had made an Instagram account dedicated to reviewing books he has read. When his new schoolmates found out about it, they created a group chat where they called Callum a “creep.” Ellis also pointed out that the bullies even added Callum into the chat “so he could see.”

Ellis accompanied her post with a screenshot from Callum’s book review page (@cals_book_account) wherein he was talking about the Caroline Kepnes novel titled “You.”

Her post quickly went viral and was noticed by various authors, who expressed their support for Callum. Ellis’s tweet has amassed over 24,000 retweets and more than 187,000 likes as of this writing.

“I think the love from all around the world has probably let him know he isn’t alone,” Neil Gaiman, one of the writers behind the novel “Good Omens,” said in response to Ellis’s post.

“But all the interesting people I know were once considered weird kids with books. Including me,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jay Kristoff, author of the “Nevernight” trilogy offered to send Callum “a bunch of books.”

Matt Haig, author of “Reasons to Stay Alive,” also said he would send over a signed copy of any of his books if Callum wanted.

Kepnes also expressed on Instagram how glad she was over the support Callum has received. Posting a screenshot of a report on Callum, she said: “Yes, books really are magic and I’m so happy to see @cals_book_account find so many new reading buddies.”

Callum’s account has amassed nearly 300,000 followers as of this writing.  /ra


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