This past August, Winnie Caldwell decided to record a video of her son reading at a black owned bookstore in Saint Louis, Mo. That video went viral and sparked an idea for the eleven year old boy.
Sidney Keys III founded the book club, Books N Bros soon after. Keys, along with his mother, organized the club to advocate literacy in young boys, especially African Americans, as well as to embrace African American literature. Get to know Sidney and his passion for reading and his mother, Winnie who encourages her son to strive for excellence:
How did you get started with Books n Bros?
I got started with Books N Bros when my mom took me to a African American bookstore and it was so cool because all the books were so interesting and i had never seen any of these books anywhere else. So we asked the bookstore owners if we could make a facebook live video and they said “yeah sure” so my mom started it and i was just on the floor lying down reading a book because it was so interesting then we asked the books store owner if there were any book clubs and they said there was only one and it was for girls so i decided to make one for boys as well then ever since then books and bros has been growing rapidly.
How many members are in the book club?
At the moment we have 15+ members but we are still growing.
Who and/or what inspires and motivates you?
What motivate me is when my mom and I are hosting the meetups and i see that all the boys are smiling and that just makes me happy seeing that they’re happy to read.
What is your favorite book to read?
My favorite book right now is probably Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire written by Ty Allan Jackson.
Can anyone join Books n Bros?
Yes as long as they are a boy between the ages 8-12.We are working on to include more ages in the future.
Do you want be a writer?
Yes I do actually i want to write a book about my journey with Books N Bros.
What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school is reading.
What books have you all read so far in the club?
The books we have read so far are Hidden Figures, Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire, Scraps of time A Song For Harlem,Scraps of Time Away West,The Supadupa Kid,The News Crew and The Toothpaste Millionaire.
Where do members meet up to discuss the books that you all have read?
At the moment we meetup at the Microsoft Store.
How do you feel about your son’s accomplishments?
I am truly in awe of God’s work. Sidney has always been ambitious and fearless. So honestly the book club doesn’t surprise me. I am just excited that others are recognizing the greatness in him that I’ve experienced for 11 years.
What advice do you have for other parents when it comes to helping your kids achieve their goals and ambitions?
I’d say support your child’s idea no matter if you understand it or not. Some of the greatest creations come from a unique mindset that others soon gravitate to. If there is a way that your child’s creation can encourage growth and generational wealth, why not support it?
What is something that you instill in Sidney to be great?
I’ve always told Sidney that he can do whatever he puts his mind to and is willing to work hard for. And to never be discouraged by competition. It’s all about God’s purpose and Sidney knows what is for him, is for HIM and no one can take away his purpose.
Where do you see Sidney in 5 years? 10 years?
Well lately others have said they see him as being president of the United States, which he’s already Co-President of The Student Council at his school so anything is possible. But I definitely in 5 years see him as being a mentor to young boys with a growing empire that’s accessible anywhere in the world. In 10 years he might just be retired haha. But he loves to help people and learn and travel so definitely a world known philanthropist of some sort. God has me in such awe, i don’t even want to put a limit on his future.
You can also sign up to join here!
Keep up to good work Sidney!