BY ANDREAS BUTLER
SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Sulaiman “Sully’’ Jackson is an 11-year-old author, pianist, ceramicist and entrepreneur.
Earlier this year, he published his first book, “Mr. PC vs The Incredible Veggie-Boys,’’ which is available at www.lulu.com/veggieboys for $9.99.
“I just wanted to see my work published. I am very excited about it,” Sully said.
The story is about two kids with superpowers pertaining to the health benefits of vegetables.
“The Veggie-boys never get sick, they are never hungry, can fly and travel through space. Mr. PC is the villain who can make any food bad food,” Sully explained.
Helping other kids
He wrote the book and did all of the illustrations without any help from adults.
“I just really brainstormed and put it together,” he noted.
He also wrote the book to encourage kids to read, go out and play more and to eat healthy.
“Too many kids sit around inside the house and eat a lot of junk food,” commented Sully. “Also, if you cannot read…learning becomes difficult and you cannot do many of things that you want to do.”
Sully is an avid reader who enjoys classics from authors: J.K. Rawlings, Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, Rick Riordon and Robert Dahl.
A second book is in the works. It will be an illustration collaborated with his younger brother, Idris.
Home-schooled in Kentucky
Jackson lives in Frankfurt, Ky., with his family. The Jacksons have Florida ties with relatives in Orlando and Miami. Sully was born in Miami. The family has lived in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and other cities.
Sully is the oldest of five siblings and enjoys playing soccer, football and basketball with them.
His parents are Raphael Jackson Jr. and Shantel Hosein. Both are former educators who now home school their children.
“Homeschooling is challenging but rewarding. You get to see your kids at their best. You are more of a coach than a teacher. You see what really interests them,” said Jackson.
“My son got interested in computer programming, which got me into it. Homeschooling strengthens the bond between parents and children.’’ Jackson added.
He is a librarian at Kentucky State University. He has a master’s degree in library science and is currently enrolled in law school.
His wife, Shantel, is a pilot who is pursuing a master’s in computer science.
They are proud of their son’s book.
“He really surprised us. He writes a lot. I showed him how to convert his files to a book text on the computer. He and his younger brother often make comics,” said Jackson.
Sully attends the Frankfort High School Aerospace Academy and takes online courses in Spanish and piano at Kentucky State University (KSU), making him their youngest student. He has a 4.0 grade point average.
“A lot of people don’t know that I actual attend KSU,” responded Sully.
His dad added, “We try to make it a normal experience for him. When he is at KSU, its like he is just there hanging out with me. At the aviation academy he does actually get to be in class with other students.”
Outside of school, the younger Jackson also is studying Arabic. (His father is African-American and his mom, who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, and is of Indian descent.
A skilled pianist, Sully has performed at many recitals and has received scholarships to play the instrument.
“I love playing the piano. I love doing classical music, but I can play pretty much anything. I learned to play from my mom, who is also pretty good at it,” He said.
Jackson also is a ceramicist. He makes pots, pans, mugs, teapots and more.
“It makes me feel good and helps with my creativity,” said Jackson.
He sells snacks and ceramic pieces that he makes to students at both KSU and the high school.
“The idea just came to me. My Dad also told me that he sold pencils to kids when he was in school which also encouraged me,” commented Jackson
Sully has many interests and states that he wants a career as a pilot.
“I really want to fly planes and own my own airline one day,” he added.