They say you can tell a lot about someone by the contents of their bedroom. But if you were to enter 14–year-old Gideon Duren’s room, you may wonder, is it a library with a bed or is it a bedroom with a library? For those who know Gideon, seeing him with a large collection of books would come as no surprise. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for him to have read several books within a week or finish a whole series within a month. In fact, the books that he finds especially interesting are given reviews on his YouTube channel, Gidster Reviews, which is also shared through his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Within the past couple of years, Gideon has read more than 100 books and posted dozens of reviews — giving fellow book lovers and kids a fun, easy place to find a story they’ll enjoy. Some of the books on his list include, The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan and “The Doughnut Fix” by Jessie Janowitz as fantasy, science fiction, and dystopian books have been some of his favorite genres. He also takes on the feat of reading books suggested through other platforms, such as the entire 2020-2021 Mark Twain Award Nominee List and the 2020-2021 Truman Award Nominee Top Picks, and gives reviews on his top three favorites.
For Gideon, reading a good book is like being sucked into a different world, experiencing what the characters are going through, and becoming part of the story. It should create a new and unique experience every time you read it, so when he finds a book that does so, he hopes to encourage others to get the same benefits from reading as he does.
It may surprise you that Gideon had not always been such a bookworm. Being a member of a large family, the second oldest to four siblings, he felt he never quite had the time to keep his nose in a book. It wasn’t until a good teacher helped him realize there were books out there for everyone and that there is always time for reading. Since then, he has seen that even reading a small amount each day can be a great thing and has even become a volunteer at the Missouri River Regional Library.
So far, he looks forward to his freshman year at Jefferson City High School as part of the Jays football team and the speech and debate team, while continuing to review books and participate in local theater. As for the future, Gideon hopes to maybe one day open a bookstore, become a teacher, or start his own book subscription box.
Who inspires you? Teachers!
What’s your favorite book? All of them.
What activities are you involved in? Theater, football, scouts, church youth group, Student Council, and Speech and Debate.
What’s your favorite subject in school and why? Reading of course.
Who do you like to have lunch with? My mom
What’s your favorite thing to do in Jefferson City? Playing Chess at CORK & Board.
What’s your favorite movie/TV show and why? The Office, Lost, Psych, and Doctor Who. Specifically, these are great shows, but I also love them because they have lots of seasons and last a long time. movies are over too fast for me.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? To be indestructible, be able to do anything with no risk.
This or That
Disney or Nickelodeon
DC or Marvel
Fruits or Vegetables
Laptop or Tablet
Pizza or Hamburgers
Michael Jordan or LeBron James
Winter or Summer
In-school or At-home classes
P.E. or Art
Team Kayne or Team Swift
Fortnight or Minecraft
Minecraft, all the way
Bike or Scooter
PlayStation or Nintendo