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Crime Novelist James Patterson Starts Children's Book Imprint

The Short of It

Crime novelist James Patterson is launching his own children's book imprint, Jimmy Patterson, at Little, Brown & Company.

The Lowdown

A prolific writer best known for his Alex Cross crime novels, Patterson expanded into children's books in recent years, publishing three young adult series and five middle grade series that sold more than 30 million copies. The series include "Treasure Hunters," "I Funny" and "House of Robots."

Now, with his own children's book imprint at Little, Brown & Company, Patterson will publish four to six of his own children's books each year as well as choose manuscripts from other writers to publish. The Jimmy Patterson imprint will release eight to 12 middle grade and young adult fiction books every year.

The Upshot

Having sold 300 million books globally and 114 New York Times best-sellers, Patterson is dedicated to using some of the money he's earned to increase literacy and help independent booksellers. The novelist gave away hundreds of thousands of copies of his children's books to public school students in Chicago, New York and Baltimore, and he donated more than $1 million in grants to independent bookstores that sell children's books last year.

This year, he announced he will give more than $1.5 million to school libraries around the country. Plus, he plans to donate his own earnings as the publisher of Jimmy Patterson to his literacy projects.

His goal for the Jimmy Patterson imprint is to make reading a habit for kids. "I do think I can get a lot more kids reading," he told the New York Times. "The mission is simple. Any kid who finishes a Jimmy book will say, 'Please give me another book.'"

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