Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

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


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.”


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.


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'


Hillary Clinton is releasing a children’s book



Handmaid’s Tale fans, here’s what really happens to Ofglen in the book

As it's confirmed Alexis Bledel’s character will be returning for the second series

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Four of the best books so far this year, as chosen by Amazon and us

If you read nothing else, make sure you give these titles a whirl

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Emma Watson really, really wants you to read these 10 feminist books

She’s curated her very own “essential feminist bookshelf”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

We need to talk about Offred’s secret weapon in The Handmaid’s Tale

This is the most important thing we can take from episode four

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

Little girl crashes stranger’s wedding for a seriously cute reason

And the photos are just perfect

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

JK Rowling flies to the rescue after Trump blocks Stephen King

This is getting ‘riddikulus’ now...

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Jun 2017

Bailey’s Prize winner Naomi Alderman on the importance of feminism

“If my novel is a dystopia, then we are living in a dystopia right now”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Jun 2017

Boys ‘find it very hard’ to read a book starring a girl hero

Gender equality is still a problem for children's books, says leading author

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Dustbin man rescues books to create free community library

He's saved 20,000 books so far

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Jun 2017

Who is Arundhati Roy? The controversial author with an army of fans

The bestselling author’s much-anticipated second novel is out now.

by Moya Crockett
06 Jun 2017