A 9-Year-Old Couldn't Relate to Characters in Books, So She Created a Diverse Online Bookstore

Instagram / The Brown Bookcase

Ever since 9-year-old Rylei was a little girl, she’s always loved to read. And while there was nothing better for her than diving into an adventure between the pages, she quickly realized that many of her books’ characters didn’t look like her. Determined to get her hands on more diverse books, Rylei founded her own online children’s bookstore, The Brown Bookcase, last year.

“Rylei started her business in October 2019 after realizing she was having a hard time finding books she could identify with,” Rylei’s mom, Brea, told POPSUGAR. “She loves to read, but she was becoming uninterested. She researched books that featured characters she could relate to, whether it was their skin tone, their curly hair, the way they interacted with their family and friends, or where they were from. And then BOOM The Brown Bookcase was born. Our goal is to provide diverse books for children of all races so that they are aware that the world is full of so many people who may not always look like us, but should be treated no differently.”

Related: Support Black-Owned Businesses by Shopping These Awesome Kids’ Brands

Families can shop Rylei’s top picks – like Betty Before X ($8) and I Believe I Can ($19) – online and get free shipping on orders of $35 or more. To get the latest news on The Brown Bookcase and children’s literature, follow its account on Instagram.

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