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

More

Mr. Men and Little Miss have been given an hilarious adult update

Little Miss Shy is taking to Tinder...

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017

Philip Pullman interview: author finally reveals inspiration for Lyra

His Dark Materials author speaks to Stylist.co.uk about his new trilogy

by Francesca Brown
19 Oct 2017

Why Instagram poet Rupi Kaur credits her success to female friendship

“I want women to feel powerful in their own skin when they read my work.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
13 Oct 2017

“Why the world doesn’t need a retelling of 50 Shades - especially now”

Is Fifty Shades empowering or dangerous?

12 Oct 2017

There’s a new Fifty Shades book on the way – with a twist

We'll finally learn what Christian was thinking in Fifty Shades Darker...

by Megan Murray
10 Oct 2017

Reese Witherspoon wants you to read these 5 brilliant books

Here are the five female writers she’s championed in recent months

by Susan Devaney
10 Oct 2017

Ladybird releases hilarious grown-up guide to dealing with a breakup

Heartbroken? You need this

by Sarah Biddlecombe
06 Oct 2017

The first look at Fantastic Beasts 2 has arrived

Muggles, assemble

by Susan Devaney
06 Oct 2017

10 must-read books for October

From short stories to epic journeys

by Sarah Shaffi
29 Sep 2017

Feminist publishers are binning manuscripts addressed to ‘Dear sirs’

"People have to stop thinking there are no consequences to being sexist."

by Moya Crockett
29 Sep 2017