Founded to recognize and promote literature, the National Book Awards were just announced and it was no surprise that Ta-Neshisi Coates won the top non-fiction prize for Between the World and Me, his commentary on being an African American man. Take a look at the November 13, 2015 Monrovia Public Library Blog to see a greater description of this book.
For some it may be a surprise that bestselling novelist James Patterson, author of the brand new Cross Justice, won the National Book Literarian Award, given as a lifetime achievement for expanding the audience for literature. Patterson has sold more than 300 million books worldwide and is known for writing multiple books simultaneously and writing with partners. Especially well-known for his thrillers, he also writes in many genres and for many age levels. He is the first author ever to have a bestselling title at the top of the New York Times adult and children’s bestseller lists. Patterson’s best known character is forensic psychologist Alex Cross and his series include the Women’s Murder Club and the young adult Maximum Ride.
Why did an author whose claim to fame seems to be popularity win such a distinguished award? Patterson is a philanthropist dedicated to promoting reading and access to books. His philanthropies support: independent books stores which are facing hard times in an era of e-commerce, a national campaign to give books to and support reading for young people, an effort to send hundreds of thousands of books to troops at home and overseas and a program called readkiddoread.com that gives parents and teachers the tools and the booklists to inspire children to read and match them with exciting books.