A visitor to my site, Paul, commented on my recent review of James Patterson's Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment to bring to my attention an interview that the author did recently with First Book. You can find the interview on the First Book blog (which I wrote about last week).
Here are a few highlights from the interview:
- James Patterson called First Book (which is dedicated to giving books to kids) "the best organization in the world." I think that it's a wonderful organization, too.
- He feels strongly that it's the adult's job to find fun and interesting books, and get those books into kids' hands. He thinks that reading should be an enjoyable activity, not "drudgery", and that's why he wrote Maximum Ride.
- When asked why Maximum Ride gets kids reading, he cited "story, story, story", and also the short chapters (which I mentioned in my review) and the fast pace. He said that he gets thousands of letters from kids, and that of all of his books, these are the ones that he's most passionate about.
- He talked about Pride and Prejudice as one of his favorite books(!).
- He talked a bit about his PageTurner Awards. In 2006 he's giving away $500,000 to "promote the excitement of books and reading". Specifically, he will give cash prizes to "people, companies, schools and other institutions who find original and effective ways to spread the excitement of books and reading." (These quotes are from the PageTurner Award website, not the First Book interview).
So, I think we can safely say that James Patterson is passionate about getting kids reading, and that he's willing to put his money where his mouth is. Thanks, Paul, for pointing me to this interview! There are, incidentally, interviews with lots of other children's authors (from the recent BookExpo America) on the First Book blog, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite destinations. (For instance, did you know that yesterday was Towel Day, in honor of the late Douglas Adams? It's true.)