Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

11-year-old starts book club to get boys excited about reading

Sidney Keys III loves to read, and he wants to get other boys his age excited about it, too.

That's why the 11-year-old from St. Louis has started Books N Bros, a book club with two goals — to promote literacy among boys ages 8 to 10 and to celebrate books featuring black characters. Keys told St. Louis Public Radio that at his school library, there "aren't many African American literature books there," and he was inspired when he visited EyeSeeMe, a bookstore that promotes the exact books Keys can't find at school. He discussed starting a book club with his mom, Winnie Caldwell, and they decided to target 8- to 10-year-old boys because that's the age when their reading skills start to lag behind girls.

The club focuses on books with black characters, but it's open to boys of all backgrounds and has met once a month since September. Some of the books they've read include Hidden Figures and Danny Dollar, with author Ty Allan Jackson joining the meeting via Skype. About 10 boys are part of the club now, and it's growing. "My motivation is I already love to read but it would be awesome, even better, to read with other people," Keys said. Catherine Garcia