Teen Bullied for His Love of Books

Brenna Goodman, Staff Editor

During the week of February 24th, Callum Manning created an Instagram account.  In the account, Callum reviews some of his favorite books.

Callum recently changed schools in South Sheilds England.  He was devastated when he found out that his new classmate didn’t like his account.  Some of the students would write mean comments on his posts. Other kids made a group chat where they would talk and make fun of him.  They called him a creep and a sad weirdo. Later they added him into the group chat so he could see all of the mocking.

Callum was interviewed by PA Media.  He said, “I don’t tend to cry that often but I think that was the first time in a while I’ve actually cried”. 

Later Callum’s older sister, Ellis Landreth, found out about the mocking and bullying.  After she found out she went to twitter to tell the story. She was only expecting a few of her followers to respond and give support, but she was wrong. Thousands of people responded with support for Callum.  Some of the responses were from people who got bullied themselves, and they said that it will get better and never give up what you love. In just a few hours Callum gained thousands of followers on Instagram. He has also received thousands of DMs giving support.

Ellis and Callum were surprised when some of the messages were from famous authors, Malorie Blackman, Matt Haig, and Caroline Kepnes.  Caroline Kepnes contacted Ellis and got Callum’s phone number and sent him a message. Callum told PA media that “obviously I am a really big fan so I was kind of nervous but that was really cool”.  Geordie Shore also messaged him privately. Other authors gave their support by telling their followers to follow Callum on Instagram and give him support.

“He’s even been invited to visit the Instagram head office,” Callum’s mom told BBC News. She also added, “It’s just bonkers but in a really good way, that we’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive.”  That is what this story is about. Turning a bad situation into something that can make someone happy.