“People need inspiration. They’re probably feeling down. Because of the pandemic, kids can’t play outside. They have to wear masks, and that’s wack,” Aiden M. Taylor, an 11-year-old from NYC told ABC 11 the inspiration behind his book entitled Me and My Afro.
“So I decided to make a bout about self-love, and that would get them energetic and feeling much better,” he added. Taylor worked on the book with his mentor Spencer Jaffe.
Aiden and Spencer work together through the Big Brother Big Sisters of NYC program, and have known each other for three years.
The pre-teen said it was Spencer who motivated him to get the book out. He said Spencer was “the one who made me push to get my goal to publish this book.”
Spencer said he helped brainstorm some ideas for the book, but that Aiden was in full creative control. When asked to describe his mentee, Spencer said Aiden is “inquisitive, shy but a little underneath, something excited.” He added, “He is a really strong go-getter, and he works really hard to accomplish his goals. It’s honestly something I can learn a lot from.”
Aiden says his book was designed to address mental health issues kids his age may face during the pandemic. “I want kids to love themselves and love the way they are, love their hair, and be a leader, not a follower,” the budding author explained.
Aiden’s book can be purchased here.
Photo: Getty Images