Suspense Writer James Patterson Takes on Middle School Set
In his latest book, however, prolific author plunges into what could well be the very heart of darkness ... middle school.
"Middle School: The Worst years of My Life" is timed to hit bookstores the same day as his latest novel for adults, "Now You See Her."
It's no coincidence.
Patterson tells Business Daily Africa he hopes parents will go to bookstores or websites for his suspense novel and pick up a copy of "Middle School" for their kids in the process. He insists this isn't a ploy to boost sales of his books but, instead, an attempt to get kids reading.
"I am obsessed with it," he tells Business Africa Daily. "It's a huge, huge problem in this country [the United States] and probably all other countries. But we have millions of kids in this country who have never read a book in their lives."
According to the Children's Literacy Initiative, he's right. One in six children in the United States do not read proficiently by the time they reach the end of third grade.
Patterson has written 17 books for young audience, but "Middle School" (co-written with Chris Tebbetts) is the first to target middle school kids. It takes a humorous look at growing up through the eyes of a boy named Rafe as he copes with bullying, crushes and family changes.
Patterson is one of the publishing industry's most prolific and successful writers. Business Africa Daily reports he outsold Stephen King, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson and John Grisham combined last year.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.