Award-winning author James Patterson took to the Ossining Public Library’s Budarz Theatre once again to talk about the importance of teaching our children about the love of literature and reading. Known mostly for his adult oriented fiction best sellers, Patterson has branched out and is writing for a younger audience.
Sharing the stage with the Briarcliff Manor resident on Thursday, and working as the event moderator was Bob Minzheimer, a former library board trustee who writes about books for USA Today.
Andrew Snyder, an avid reader and competitive swimmer, was chosen by Teen Librarian Suzy Zavaella to interview Patterson from the perspective of a young adult reader. The hour-long discussion began with an introduction and then questions from not only Mr. Minzheimer and the soon to be ninth grader at Ossining High School, but the audience as well.
“A lot of kids don’t read enough, so they don’t exercise the reading muscle. The more you read, the better you get at it,” said Patterson. The prolific author stressed that it is the parents’ job to find books that will inspire and excite their children to read, and not leave it up to the schools to spark that desire.
His website ReadKiddoRead.com is a great tool to assist both the parent and reader by breaking books down into various categories and reading levels in a way to make choosing a book fun and accessible.
When asked about the future of his popular series Maximum Ride, Patterson said, “We’re going to end it.” It had originally been planned as a three book series, but expanded as the characters became more involved. The eighth and final book Nevermore is due out next year.
An audience member asked, “What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a writer?”
After a smile and a chuckle, Patterson emphatically replied, “Don’t do it!”
When the laughter subsided his real answer was: “Get into the habit of writing every day even if it is one page to see if it is actually something you like to do every day.”
Speaking with Andrew Snyder afterwards, the teen said he enjoyed meeting the author and finding more about the man behind all the books he has read.
“He is so much more than the small 'about the author’ paragraph on the back page,” said Snyder.
The evening concluded with a raffle of the complete series of Maximum Ride donated by in Pleasantville, and won by audience member, Jeremy Weir. Attendees were then given the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Patterson and have books signed.