11-year-old launches book club promoting african american children’s literature

March 16, 2017

An 11-year-old from St. Louis started his own reading club called Books N Bros to show other boys just how fun reading can be when you can connect with the characters and what you read.

“Books N Bros is a book club for boys, and we read books and African American literature because every time I go to the library at my school, there aren’t many African American literature books there,” Sidney Keys III told St. Louis on the Air. After visiting EyeSeeMe, a nearby bookstore promoting African American children’s literature, Sydney discovered that he could see more of himself and show others more of themselves in books. Sidney’s mom, Winnie Caldwell, posted a video of him reading in the store in August that gained more than 62,000 views.

“You get to a point when he is 11-years-old and it was so shocking for him to relate to someone on the cover in a positive aspect rather than it be some negative urban story we see a lot,” she told on the Air. “I would like to make sure he sees himself in being whatever he can be.”

Caldwell said her son immediately had the idea to form a book club, using EyeSeeMe as their project’s bookstore after when the video went viral. According to The Root, the group has also struck up a deal with the Microsoft Store at the Galleria. The boys chat about their books for an hour before each child gets 30 minutes to play video games on a personal console at the store. Incredible!