Best-selling author James Patterson has increased his donations for classroom libraries to $2 million. Patterson’s goal is to get classroom libraries for all students and to get them reading more.
Patterson was not an avid reader until after graduating high school, which is why he encourages all students to read. Furthermore, his own son despised books from a young age, until he was forced to read books over the summer and then became a book worm.
“I can’t underscore enough how important books and reading are to a child’s development-better readers make better people, and ultimately better citizens. I’m so grateful for the teachers who are doing a imperative work with students every day, in every school in the country. These grants are my way of acknowledging their extraordinary efforts,” Patterson said.
Patterson believes all students should “practice reading” to enjoy picking up a book and reading it just for fun. He wants all students to be able to access different types of books at school.
He wants to help teachers across the country build classroom libraries, rather than have them use their personal money to buy books.
“I think that it is amazing that he thought of something like this. Two million dollars is a lot, and to give it for a greater cause….It’s really generous of him to think about the students around the country who don’t get to read because of lack of books in their classroom and school libraries,” says junior Aashruti Patel.
The Scholastic Book Club partnered with Patterson in his journey to help students to get more chances to read. In 2015, “Patterson Pledge” was launched and ran in coordination with the Scholastic Book Club where more than 80,000 teachers applied for donations.
In that same year, Patterson was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
Best known for his thrillers, mysteries and young adult books, Patterson has written more than 50 books. He released 13 books in both 2013 and 2014, and 14 books in 2011. He is in the Guinness World Records as the author with the most New York Times best-selling hardcover fiction books, and has sold over 350 million books worldwide.
His first book was published in 1976, and he rose to fame with his book “Along Came a Spider.” Patterson’s first successful and most well-known series is about psychologist Alex Cross.
“James Patterson’s books are full of mystery, thrillers and cliff hangers. I’m not much of a reader myself, but his books are amazing, and I find myself holding my breath after each page. He’s an amazing writer and I can’t wait to read his future books,” says sophomore Erin McGuire.
What do you think about James Patterson’s goal?