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At 10, Sidney Keys III founded Books N Bros. Now, he’s published a book to inspire Black boys

Miya Norfleet
St. Louis Public Radio

Young entrepreneur Sidney Keys III impressed the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey at the age of 10 with his business prowess behind Books N Bros — a subscription-based book club that promotes literacy for young Black boys he started while living in St. Louis.

Now, Keys is a 17-year-old business owner, philanthropist, literacy advocate and author of his own book, “Books N Bros: 44 Inspiring Books for Black Boys.”

St. Louis on the Air last heard from Keys and his mom/business partner Winnie Caldwell in 2017 after Keys was listed as a “Young Wonder” by CNN. Since then, he’s been celebrated in both his hometown of St. Louis and his new home in Atlanta. He was also honored as a Marvel Hero, with his own feature story streaming on Disney+. Keys said he appreciates the support and is happy to be able to give back.

The teen has been keeping busy. While he’s juggling the tasks of attending high school, running a business, being a public figure and now a published author, he’s managing to take it all in stride. He recently told St. Louis on the Air: “There is a sense of pressure of just being able to uplift the community as well just showcase what anyone can do from any circumstances. But I'm also extremely grateful for people like my mother and people in my community that helped lift as much of that off so I can still be a kid.”

To hear more about Keys' work with Books N Bros, listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.

Sidney Keys III joins St. Louis on the Air

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org

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