11-Year-Old Boy Writes Self-Love Book ‘Me And My Afro’
It’s never too early to live out a dream, and Aiden Taylor, 11, is doing just that.
The almost pre-teen looked at the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to put his experiences to paper and author a children’s book about his favorite hairstyle.
“You can’t go outside; kids can’t play with their friends . . . it’s kind of wack,” Aiden told PEOPLE.
Inspired by his love for reading, the sixth-grader penned a children’s book titled Me and My Afro with a goal to help kids “love the way they are.” Aiden says the book gives kids “something to do [at home] — and who doesn’t want to learn about self-love?”
Me and My Afro follows the adventures Aiden and his favorite hairstyle take together throughout New York, including riding the bus to playing basketball.
Spencer Jaffe, Aiden’s 27-year-old mentor, says he encouraged his mentee to write the book and even helped him edit the 26-page work over Zoom.
“It’s been incredible to watch the perseverance he’s had in writing and promoting the book,” Jaffe says. “Aiden just shows if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish anything.”
Jaffe says even he has been impacted by Aiden’s message.
“Aiden’s book has inspired so many kids already … I might be the big brother, but I learn from Aiden every day,” he adds.
Aiden also jokes that he “hired” his mother Monique to help put his book together as well.
“Her job was telling the publisher and the illustrator [Tana Teeya] what I wanted the pictures to look like,” he says. “For example, I wanted a picture of an ice skating rink downtown and there’s water behind it, and when they first drew it, there was no water behind it, so she told them and they fixed it.”
Me and My Afro has already sold more than 1,400 copies and was published in August. Aiden says he’s proud of himself for achieving something this big.
“It makes me feel great because I accomplished this big goal,” he told PEOPLE.
Unsurprisingly, Aiden wants to make being an author his career: “Writing’s very fun,” he says, “And I want to keep inspiring other kids.”
Purchase your copy of Me and My Afro here.