James Patterson’s New Children’s Book Imprint, jimmy patterson, Is Everything You Could Ever Want It To Be
Get ready to want to be a kid again, because author James Patterson is launching his own children’s books imprint. Part of Little, Brown & Company, the imprint will be called jimmy patterson and will boast a simple mission — “that every kid who finishes a jimmy book will say, ‘Please give me another book,’” Patterson said in a statement.
A best-selling author and an insanely prolific one, Patterson knows a thing or two about books. His Alex Cross mystery novels may be his most popular, but, as of 2014, Patterson has written 130 novels which have sold over 300 million copies.
Patterson isn’t new to the children’s books scene, either. He has published at least 14 children’s and middle grade books himself, and his own not-for-profit website ReadKiddoRead.com offers lesson plans for educators, kids’ books sweepstakes, and reviews for children’s and middle grade books. As one of the highest paid authors in the world, Patterson has often spent his millions on getting kids reading. Earlier this year, he partnered with children’s book publisher Scholastic to donate $1.25 million to school libraries around the country.
Patterson will continue this awesome mix of publishing and philanthropy with his new imprint. “What makes jimmy patterson different is simple: My profits will go to scholarships for teachers, helping bookstores survive, helping school libraries in their time of great need, increasing the reach of ReadKiddoRead.com, and distributing books to kids who can’t afford them,” says Patterson.
A press release sent out this morning also mentioned the imprint’s intention to publish a diverse offering of books, by identifying “the right books for each child by celebrating a compelling diversity of human voices and experiences.”
Following the official announcement this morning by by Michael Pietsch, Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Book Group, and Reagan Arthur, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, James Patterson announced the news to fans and followers on Twitter, with the imprint’s tag line:
If Patterson’s foray into other new ventures is any indication — in 2010 he became the first author to sell over 1 million e-books — then this is gonna be big. And, indeed, the feisty author has big goals for jimmy patterson. Patterson believes that getting kids reading can “dramatically increase the number of kids who finish high school in this country and thus have a better chance of going on to college or getting better jobs. We will create a more informed populace. With better citizens. Better voters. Better workers. Better spouses. Better parents. Better human beings,” he says.
With that kind of epic criteria from such a prolific author, hopefully we'll get a great many books that fill in the gaps in children's literature. How about a story that gives us more Hermione Grangers, throwing them into adventures at a boarding school for girl witches? A story of a couple of foster kids who find out that the lesbian couple adopting them are actually part-time superheroes (think The Incredibles with two mommies!)? And, clearly, clearly we're gonna need a children's mystery like ASAP. Maybe one where a group of kid coders save a major company whose name rhymes with "oogle" from disaster? Just throwing some ideas out there, James.
Even if he takes me up on none of the above, Patterson's big brain, prolific hand, and fat wallet spell good things ahead for the new imprint, and probably for children's literature as a whole.