Malcolm Mitchell's reading advocacy has been well documented, even before he was drafted by the Patriots, but a new chapter has been added to his story.
After publishing his first book last year, Malcolm was named the Georgia Children's Author of the Year by the Georgia Writer's Association on June 4. Malcolm was honored for his book "The Magician's Hat" and beat out the 12 other nominated children's books.
Realizing he won the award was "surreal for a moment," Malcolm said Tuesday, and while the recognition is appreciated, he was not expecting it.
"I never foresaw that coming, that's for sure, but I'm definitely honored, thankful and blessed to get such a prestigious award" Malcolm said.
The Georgia Writer's Association nominates authors in 14 categories overall. From novelists and nonfiction to inspiration and children's books, the list is steeped with a variety of writers. But Malcolm's journey is not an ordinary one for an author, and that makes the award even sweeter, he said.
"It feels really good to do something just from the heart," Malcolm said. "Then it gets perceived in such a great way, and it begins to spread … It was an innocent idea to just try and help people understand what I learned growing up."
"The Magician's Hat" evolved from Malcolm's appreciation and love for reading, and eventually, writing. Through both football and his work engaging kids in reading, Malcolm said he hopes those looking up to him are encouraged by his story.
"[I want them] just to strive in every area that you dedicate yourself to," he said. "Whether it is athletics or something else that you like to do, once you find that, go out there and give it everything you've got. I promise reading can help get you there."
For more information about Malcolm's work, check out Read with Malcolm.