Braylen Taylor, 6, knows how to behave in school. He even published a book that shares that story.
He wrote the book this past summer while he was still 5.
The Dearing Elementary first-grade student has held several recent book signings, including one this past Sunday at Yoder’s Dairy Barn, an ice cream shop in Harlem.
The ice cream shop was packed full as children and adults arrived to purchase a signed copy of Braylen’s book, “I’m a Young Black Male who Loves School.”
So, why at age 5 did Braylen write a book?
Qwensweler Taylor, a 2003 Thomson High graduate who now teaches math at THS, can explain. She is Braylen’s mother.
“He loves to read. It was one day during the summertime and I was trying to watch a television show and I told him to go and write a book. But, I meant to say go and read a book. He did exactly what I told him to do. Instead of reading a book, he wrote a book,” she said. “I mixed up my own words.”
“At his school, they teach them about good behavior so we worked on the title, but other than that everything else in the book is his words,” she said.
Braylen is the main character in the book, and the British artist who illustrated the book made sure the boy in the book looks like Braylen.
Before placing the book order Dec. 3, Taylor and her son had presold 400 copies. So, she ordered an additional 200 copies.
“So, he has sold close to 600 copies,” the mom said. All of the proceeds will go to the P.B.I.S. at Dearing Elementary. So, they’re going to have a big party at the end of the year with the proceeds.”
P.B.I. S. is an acronym for a framework of behavior expectations used in McDuffie County schools.
It stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Good behavior is expected, encouraged, and rewarded. Dearing Elementary always has a reward party for the well-behaved students at the end of the year. Thanks to Braylen’s book proceeds, the party is likely to be special this year.
“He understands all the things they do for P.B.I.S.,” said Taylor.
Why should others read his book?
“Because they need to learn what to do in school,” said Braylen. “I’m sure a lot of people get in trouble. Because everybody is not perfect.”
“Nobody is perfect,” chimed in the mom.
“God,” he replied in a whisper.
Braylen is already reading on a fourth-grade level and has reached his assigned reading goal early this year. He earns points for reading books and the normal goal is 50 points. His teacher now has challenged him to reach 100 points.
Sunday’s book signing was the young author’s third. This past Saturday he sold books at the Annual Sherri C. Hobbs Oratorical Contest. The weekend before, he held a book signing at Springfield Baptist Church.