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.

Favorite YouTube Channel? Well, right now it’s ”Kurzgesagt- In A Nutshell,” A great science channel.

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
Michael Jordan

Winter or Summer

In-school or At-home classes

P.E. or Art

Team Kayne or Team Swift
Team Kayne

Fortnight or Minecraft
Minecraft, all the way

Bike or Scooter

PlayStation or Nintendo

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Do you know a Young One to Watch? Any child up to age 18 who is doing something to spread positivity, accomplishing a challenging task, overcoming a daunting obstacle, launching an entrepreneurial endeavor, or brightening people’s days is eligible to be nominated.