13-year-old Callum Manning recently started going to a new school in South Shields, United Kingdom. However, instead of a warm welcome, he had to go through totally undeserved mockery. When fellow students discovered Callum’s Instagram account where he celebrates the books he loves, they began ridiculing it on a group chat. And he was on it.

His older sister Ellis Landreth was as disgusted by it as Callum. On Saturday, Ellis tweeted that she “could not believe how awful” some people were. But then something wonderful happened. Her post went viral, generating over 188K likes and has attracted so many supporters, the haters simply drowned in the sea of love for Callum and his hobby.

Famous authors, including the boy’s favorite writer Caroline Kepnes, started sending him messages of encouragement and even offered to ship him copies of their books to review. The heartwarming reactions also grew the young literature lover’s following. Before all of this started, Callum had about 40 of them. Now his fan base is 300K-big. Talk about a Cinderella story!

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Callum’s mother, Carla Landreth, said her son was “devastated” after reading the original messages on the group chat after school on Friday. He was described as “a sad weirdo” because of his passion for books and although he could read the messages, others had blocked him from responding, which, according to his mother, “made things much worse”.

However, the online reaction to this hurtful experience was wonderful. “It 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,” Carla Landreth told the BBC.

She said Callum was “over the moon” to be contacted by authors, in particular. A lot of celebrities, including stars of Geordie Shore, have also contacted him privately. “We even got a ‘good luck’ message from a woman in Iraq,” Carla added. Also, Callum has been invited to visit the Instagram head office.

“It’s just bonkers but in a really good way that we’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive.”

After the word got out, many people, including top authors, started publicly supporting Callum

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