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Illustration of Cairo

Cairo Says No!

Innocence becomes curiosity. Curiosity becomes attraction. Attraction leads to choices.

When Cairo and his family and friends find what appears to be candy on the playground, most of the group wants to eat it without telling an adult about the treasure they’ve just found. Remembering lessons from his adults that drugs are often made to look like candy, Cairo resists and counteracts the “don’t snitch” perspective to alert an adult, saving himself and his friends from potential harm or death.

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cover of Cairo Says No! children's book
Written by Gadson Chris Pompey
Illustrated by Cherie Mays

About the Book

“Cairo Says No” is a book for children written from a child’s perspective.

Children today are exposed to potential dangers earlier than ever before while still urged to avoid the age-old tattle tale moniker. From toddlers on a public playground to teens hanging out with friends, children are enticed by candy-like pills and illicit substances long before their adults are aware in many cases.

illustration of Cairo's family

This educational book brings awareness to the dangers that exist with drugs and empowers children to speak up and have potentially life-saving conversations. Written from Cairo’s perspective, the message of “Cairo Says No” is relevant to children of all races, backgrounds, and neighborhoods.


cairo and cole playing on the playground

About the Author & Reasons for Writing “Cairo Says No”

Inspired by conversations he overheard between his grandchildren and young family members, author Gadson Chris Pompey wrote “Cairo Says No” to bring awareness and prevention to the dangers children face and the pressure they are under to go along with the crowd.

Growing up in Baltimore, Md., Pompey saw drugs and violence first-hand from an early age. He would later succumb to drug use, which led him on a quest to become the advocate that he is today.

Pompey now serves as the founder and CEO of Reach Sober Living, Inc., a network of residential recovery homes and supports designed to help individuals in recovery make long-lasting changes and reintegrate into society. He is also a husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, and advocate.

By listening to the children in his life and the conversations they had, Pompey wrote a story that introduces drug awareness and the importance of using one’s voice in a way that young audiences can relate to.

chris pompey and his grandchildren
“We have to talk to children to facilitate change and empower them to speak up,” Pompey said. “I saw my own grandchildren, knowing what I went through as a child in the community I grew up in, and saw an opportunity to help other youth and families through ‘Cairo Says No.’”

Suggested Uses & Opportunities

Speaking up may save a life.

Author Gadson Chris Pompey feels strongly that this message is best received in a peer-to-peer situation. The learning lessons within “Cairo Says No” are easier to hear and receive when delivered by someone their own age.

“Having youth read the story back to other youth is the best way to share and solidify the message within,” Pompey said.

cairo smiling will playing on a playground slide
author chris pompey with his grandchildren

Due to the rate of learning and exposure to drugs and peer pressure, Pompey also suggests utilizing the book as early as possible with school-aged children.


“The earlier we can reach children, the more we can prevent drug use and issues,” Pompey said.

Ideal uses for “Cairo Says No” include older students reading the book to young readers in a classroom, youth group, or family setting, although any use of this book has the potential to save a child’s life and future.

Contact the Author

Gadson Chris Pompey is a dynamic speaker with a heart for empowering individuals to improve their own lives and that of our shared community.

For more information about “Cairo Says No” or to inquire about a speaking engagement or workshop, please inquire by email.

Where to Buy

“Cairo Says No” can now be purchased online through Amazon.

Buy It On Amazon!
cover of Cairo Says No! children's book