Thousands Of Nerds Unite To Defend Boy Who Was Bullied Over His Book-Loving Instagram Account

The use of actual books that you hold in your hand and read is dropping dramatically. Libraries across the world have seen the effects of the electronic age. People are still reading, they are just reading in smaller bites and, typically, on their handheld devices. It doesn’t mean, however, that booklovers don’t exist and they often are a very loyal bunch.

Among the book lovers is a 13-year-old boy who loves books and started his own Instagram book account. Unfortunately, he began to be bullied because of that account but some high profile Instagrammers came to his aid.

Callum Manning had switched to a new school in South Shields, but when other students found out about his Instagram account, they started to make fun of him. That Instagram account allows him to discuss and review the books he has read. A chat group is where the bullying took place.

Carla Landreth, Callum’s mother, described her son as being “devastated” after he read the messages on the chat group. The messages described him as being a “sad weirdo” because he loved books. Callum could see the messages but he was blocked from responding, and his mother said that made matters much worse.

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Ellis Landreth, his sister, went on Twitter to talk about “how awful kids are.”

“My little brother’s made an Instagram account reviewing and talking about books, and kids in his new school have seen it and have created a group chat calling him a creep slagging him off about it and added him to it so he could see,” she wrote.

It wasn’t long before the post went viral and both bookstores and book lovers started taking notice. The response from the Internet world has been largely positive. He has been getting messages from authors and bookstores encouraging him and offering free books of his choosing.

He was offered tickets to see Romeo and Juliet by the Globe Theater.

Neil Gaiman wrote, “I think the love from all around the world has probably let him know he isn’t alone. But all the interesting people I know were once considered weird kids with books. Including me.”

Caroline Kepnes, Callum’s favorite author, encouraged him with a personal message.

Callum’s Instagram follower numbers have really taken off, thanks to his sister’s tweet.

“Yesterday I had 39 followers, now I have more than 85,000 – it’s bizarre, but nice to know that people care” Callum said.

“[The online response] has made him feel so good, and sends out a really strong, anti-bullying message-a case of who’s getting the last laugh now,” Callum’s mom said. Her “book obsessed” son was “over the moon” to be contacted by authors, in particular, she added.

“He’s even been invited to visit the Instagram head office,” she said. “It’s just bonkers but in a really good way, that we’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive.”

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