Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Awesome 12-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks gets own book deal

rexfeatures_6323215cq.jpg

Even among the bleakness that is 2017 so far, pockets of good news can still be found.

And today’s inspiration comes via Marley Dias, an awesome 12-year-old who kickstarted a global literacy movement and has just announced that she has secured her very own book deal.

Dias, a school student living in New Jersey, founded #1000BlackGirlBooks last year in an effort to collect 1,000 books where black girls are the main character.

Now, having collected some 8,000 books to date, she will be adding her own nonfiction tome to the pile, with children’s book publisher Scholastic snapping up the rights to her first literary offering.

In a statement released by the publisher, Dias said she “so excited” to be writing the book, and that she wanted to spread a “message of diversity, inclusion and social action”.

The pint-sized powerhouse, who loves sushi and dancing, hopes to one day edit her own magazine.

And her book, which will be aimed at children aged 10 and above, will have a theme of activism in the form of a “keep-it-real guide".

Scholastic described it as showing children “how to make their own dreams come true”, with Dias telling how she “turned her passion into a literacy crusade that has captured the attention of the media, policymakers, and young people throughout the world".

Dias originally started #1000BlackGirlBooks back in November 2015 when she was just 11 years old.

She launched the initiative after becoming bored of her school’s reading syllabus, which featured mainly “white boys and dogs”. Spurred into action, she pledged to start a social media campaign to collect 1,000 books featuring a black female lead.


Read more: Hillary Clinton is releasing a children’s book


“I told [my mom] I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” she said in an interview with The Cut.

“I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not background characters or minor characters.”

Marley

The young girl, who also volunteers at a Ghanaian orphanage in her spare time, certainly made waves with the project, gaining support from literary giants Barnes & Noble and receiving book donations from authors including Jacqueline Woodson and Rita Williams-Garcia. She was also honoured at Variety’s Power of Women event for the project.

She far exceeded her target collection of 1,000 books and has been donating inspiring reads to the orphanage where she volunteers. 


Read more: These are the books that President Obama wants everyone to read


She also spoke at the White House’s first United State of Women Conference last June, where she shared the stage with Michelle Obama (below) and Oprah.

Overall, a job very well done.

Related

jk rowling (2).jpg

JK Rowling responds to Trump supporters burning Harry Potter books

michel;le obama.jpg

Michelle Obama 'to pursue career as children’s book author'

rexfeatures_6520836a.jpg

Hillary Clinton is releasing a children’s book

Comments

More

Bookworms, there’s a Japanese word for people who buy too many books

Commit this to memory, bibliophiles...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

12 of the best translated books to broaden your literary horizons

It's time to stray a little further afield...

by Scarlett Cayford
27 Apr 2017

The best new books to read in May 2017

It's going to be a wonderful month for bookworms...

by Sarah Shaffi
27 Apr 2017

Join us at the Emerald Street Literary Festival

The perfect Saturday for interesting women

by The Stylist web team
24 Apr 2017

Backlash as star says The Handmaid's Tale is “not a feminist story”

"It’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Apr 2017

Elisabeth Moss on why you shouldn't binge watch The Handmaid's Tale

"You may need a second to step back and think about what you’ve seen"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Exclusive: young mother who escaped Boko Haram shares her story

"I had to be prepared for the worst at all times."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Apr 2017

Margaret Atwood has penned a brand-new ending for The Handmaid’s Tale

And she’s hinted at a sequel, too…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Apr 2017

Witherspoon & Kidman are already planning a Big Little Lies follow-up

They have optioned a second Liane Moriarty book.

by Hayley Spencer
05 Apr 2017

The best new books of April

From learning to adult to haunting short stories

by Sarah Shaffi
04 Apr 2017