Boy, 13, gains 200,000 followers after being bullied for Instagram account about books

2 March 2020, 11:52 | Updated: 2 March 2020, 16:36

Callum Manning now has hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers
Callum Manning now has hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. Picture: Instagran/Family photo

Callum Manning has been supported by celebrities and top authors after his story went viral.

A boy who was bullied at school for setting up an Instagram account about his love of reading has now amassed over 200,000 followers after his sister's tweet about his story went viral.

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Callum Manning, 13, from South Shields, has been swamped with messages of support from celebrities and top authors, as well as thousands of members of the public who want to send him books.

He was was left 'devastated' after seeing the horrible messages from his school friends about his Instagram account.

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Callum said: ‘I don’t tend to cry that often but I think that was the first time in a while I’ve actually cried.’

His sister Ellis posted a screenshot of his account alongside the message: "Can’t believe how awful kids are. My little brothers made an Instagram 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".

Her tweet went viral, and authors, celebrities and publishers rushed to support Callum.

Ellis said later that she was hoping "20 or 30 of my friends (would) like a few of his posts or follow him or give him some words of encouragement.

Callum added: "People saw it and people just thought ‘it’s not right’ because it isn’t.

"Then I started getting loads of comments from everyone showing their support.

Callum Manning has been supported by a number of top authors
Callum Manning has been supported by a number of top authors. Picture: Family photo

"I just think it’s really nice that there’s still people in the world who are nice.’

His account has now racked up 236,000 followers, and he has been contacted by Caroline Kepnes - author of one of his favourite books You.

He said: "She’s one of my favourite authors – she texted us, which was really cool. Obviously I’m a really big fan so I was kind of nervous but that was really cool."

Callum's favourite books include Crime and Punishment, Romeo and Juliet and Frankenstein - all of which are impressive reads for a 13-year-old.

His mother Carla Landreth added: ‘He’s a very, very clever kid.

View this post on Instagram

This may be a unpopular opinion. These are great books

A post shared by cal :-) 📚📚 (@cals_book_account) on

"He’s been reading since he was really young but he reads like Crime And Punishment and stuff that probably not your average 13-year-old would be interested in reading.

"He reads everything and anything."

You can follow Callum's account on Instagram @cals_book_account.


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