Author James Patterson Advises Area Students

BOCA RATON, FL ( — It’s always nice when a celebrity or business success story reaches out to help young admirers. Author James Patterson, who calls Palm Beach County home, is doing just that:

Renowned author and Palm Beach resident James Patterson has a new goal in life: “To make kids readers for life.” His website, Read Kiddo Read, is dedicated to that goal, and recently, five students from John F. Kennedy (JFK) Middle School in Riviera Beach were selected to participate in a webinar with Mr. Patterson to promote reading.

The reading leaders of JFK Middle, who earned above 250 points in Reading Counts, received an advanced copy of Mr. Patterson’s book Middle School: Get Me Out of Here and were given the task to read the novel and generate five questions to pose to the author for the webinar.

The JFK students were treated to chauffeured transportation to the King’s Library in the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach where the show was taped. The students met with their peers from Palm Beach Day Academy and rehearsed the segment to be filmed. Arriving from another filming location in the early afternoon, Mr. Patterson placed the students at ease with his warm personality. The set was actually a cozy library in which students posed questions regarding his career, his future projects and the making of movies from his books.

Donna Dekersky, Media Specialist at JFK said, “The advice that he offered to the students was inspirational and something that the students listened to with rapt attention.”

Mohini Valdes an 8th grader asked Mr. Patterson about the most inspiring book he has written. Mr. Patterson said he enjoyed writing for children and because people are always intrigued by the ability to fly, he said, “Writing the Maximum Ride series, which ends this year, is a favorite of mine.” Max, the main character, and her friends, are part human and part bird and can fly.

Nicole Hemmer, a 7th grader asked if the author

includes people he knows in his books. His response, which the students certainly enjoyed, “In the Middle School books, I included the name of my high school girlfriend. She got a kick out of it.”

Mr. Patterson told the eager students,”If you are lucky, you will get to do what you love, and if you are really lucky, you will get paid to do it.”

“It was a spectacular day. I just kept thinking, it’s really him,” said Kordell Garland, a 6th grader at JFK.

“The fact that the students were excited about meeting an author and enjoyed conversing about books made it a wonderful experience for all involved, “said Ms. Dekersky.

(photo credit


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