Author Christian S. Graves is setting out on a bi-coastal tour to promote his third book, Being Brothers, with his first stop in Hampton.
By the way, he’s only 10 years old.
Graves along with his co-authors and older brothers, Dominic Graves, 13, and Demetress Walker, 17, are signing books at the Barnes & Noble location in Peninsula Town Center Feb. 8 and then will head to California after other events in Williamsburg, Norfolk, and Chesapeake.
“This book shows our brotherly bond and our relationship,” Graves said. “How we talk to each other, how we get along, and how we love each other.”
Being Brothers is the third publication to come from Graves but the first he’s done in collaboration with his siblings.
At a time when the family faced homelessness and was living in a hotel, Jolanda said she’d explain to Graves how he’d needed to be a “big boy” to understand what was going on but at the same time, was also “mommy’s baby.”
“He said ‘mom which one is it? Am I mommy’s baby or am I your big boy?’ and then went into this little poem that he made up,” she said. “I pulled over and typed down what he said…and Being 5 went from a poem to a book.”
Jolanda said the then 5-year-old becoming an Amazon bestselling author at a time when the family was at one of its lowest points was “a gift” and now is something her sons can grow together as she continues to overcome her battle with lupus.
The family has since found a home.
“God forbid something happens to me, they’re able to work together and have each others’ back like ‘this is what mom would want us to do’, be great men in the world who have an impact,” she said.
Now in the fourth-grade at a Hampton City Public School, Graves enjoys math and reading but said he’s always wanted to be someone who inspires others through creativity as a radio personality or an author.
“It’s important to me so that kids my age know that if they want to do something, they don’t have to wait until they’re 35 they can do it when they want to but they have to work hard for it,” Graves said.
He’s worked hard for his accomplishments but Jolanda said the community support Graves’ publications have received has also helped to take him to the next level.
There are themed “swag bags” at signing events from Tara Clark, custom polo shirts for the boys from Dionne Archibald, and free event space sponsored by Gladys Henderson-Williams whenever they need it.
Graves’ school even had an assembly to celebrate Being 5 when it was published, Jolanda said “they have been supportive of him since day one.
Jolanda said the impact of her son’s talent will go far and wide even becoming a movement for readers who have brothers to take pride in the bond that not even she as a mother of three boys could understand.
For Graves, it can be stated in his favorite quote from the book, “my brothers are the best friends I will ever have.”
“Because it shows how your brothers can be your friends, they can be many things but your brothers will always be your brothers and nothing will change that,” Graves said.
See Graves and his brothers, Demetress and Dominic, at the Barnes & Noble in Peninsula Town Center Feb. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the store’s location at New Town Shops in Williamsburg March 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.