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JAMES PATTERSON donates $100,000 to bookshops to get kids reading

Bookshops and kids are the winners today, with the announcement of the booksellers across Australia and New Zealand who will benefit from the $100,000 grant James Patterson pledged when he visited Australia in May.

The bestselling US author and bookshop devotee has announced the recipients after a lengthy judging process. 'I have been delighted by how many people have applied for the grants and the calibre of the applications,' says James. 'We have worked to identify bookshops for whom this money may make a real difference and for whom getting children reading is a real passion.'

James met with many local booksellers on his Australian tour in May. Any independent bookshop with a dedicated children's book section was eligible for a grant up to $5000.

Hundreds of bookshops applied for the grant, with many asking for the maximum amount available. Requests ranged from setting up reading programs for kids in need to hosting literary festivals in local communities, with many others simply seeking to freshen up and expand the children's sections of their store.

Paperbark Education in Albany is receiving $5000 to set up a mobile book bus to visit libraries and schools in regional Western Australia. James values the importance of getting good books into the hands of children in remote areas. In their application Paperbark noted the difficulties facing librarians in rural areas, for whom expanding the library's collection is a struggle. The idea for a children's book bus arose from a group meeting with regional librarians. 'The passion that was alighted in these often isolated people was palpable,' Amanda from Paperbark says. 'The opportunity for them to flip through the books they were interested in was reminiscent of kids in a candy shop.'

Another bookshop receiving the full amount requested is Where The Wild Things Are in Brisbane. Their proposed program '1000 Books Before Five' is a national adult-child reading initiative based on the school reading programme. Their focus on adults reading aloud to children from a young age is shared by James, who is passionate about inspiring kids to become lifelong readers.

Joel Becker, CEO of Australian Booksellers Association, says: 'We're really excited about seeing the grants being used through fantastic projects in local bookshops throughout Australia. The applications showed tremendous creativity, passion and vision. For the very lucky – and worthy – grant recipients, James Patterson's generous donation will make a real difference to how they reach children and encourage them to read.'

Below is the full list of independent bookshops allocated grants from James Patterson:

Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney, NSW
Ariel Booksellers, Paddington, NSW
Barefoot Books, Busselton, WA
Beaufort Street Books, Mount Lawley, WA
Beaumaris Books, Beaumaris, VIC
Beechworth Books, Beechworth, VIC
Benn's Books, Bentleigh, VIC
Better Read Than Dead, Newtown, NSW
Bloomin' Books, Caringbah, NSW
Bluespoint Bookshop, McMahons Point, NSW
Boffin's Bookshop, Perth, WA
Book Bazaar, Umina Beach, NSW
Book Bonding, Niddrie, VIC
Brays Books, Balmain, NSW
Child Education Services, East Perth, WA
Collins Booksellers, Chirnside Park, VIC
Collins Booksellers, Edwardstown, SA
Collins Booksellers, Griffith, NSW
Collins Booksellers, Orange, NSW
Constant Reader, Crows Nest, NSW
Cow Lick Bookshop, Colac, VIC
DeanSwift, Nowra, NSW
Devonport Bookshop, Devonport, TAS
Dymocks Albany, Albany, WA
Dymocks Albury, Albury, NSW
Dymocks Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD
Dymocks Busselton, Busselton, WA
Dymocks Hobart, Hobart, TAS
Dymocks Macquarie Square, North Ryde, NSW
Dymocks Morley, Morley, WA
Dymocks Subiaco, Hillarys, WA
Embiggen Books, Melbourne, VIC
Fairfield Books, Fairfield, VIC
Fox Tale Books, Cooma, NSW
Fuller's Bookshop, Hobart, TAS
Gateway Bookshop, Wagga Wagga, NSW
Gleebooks, Glebe, NSW
Harbour Bookshop, Ulladulla, NSW
Ironbird Bookshop, Port Fairy, VIC
Jeffrey's Books, Malvern, VIC
Lindfield Bookshop, Lindfield, NSW
MacLean's Booksellers, Hamilton, NSW
Margaret River Bookshop, Margaret River, WA
Mary Ryan's Hervey Bay, Hervey Bay, QLD
Mary Who?, Townsville, QLD
Matilda Bookshop, Stirling, SA
Megalong Books, Leura, NSW
Meg's Bookshop, Port Pirie, SA
Mostly Books, Torrens Park, SA
New Leaves, Woodend, VIC
Not Just Books, Burnie, TAS
Paperbark Merchants, Albany, WA
Petersen's Bookstore, Hastings, VIC
Potts Point Bookshop, Potts Point, NSW
Readings Carlton, Carlton, VIC
Riverbend Books, Bulimba, QLD
Robinson's Bookshop, Seaford, VIC
Rockingham Books, Rockingham, WA
Rosetta Books, Maleny, QLD
South Seas Books and Trading, Port Elliot, NSW
The Best Little Bookshop in Town, Cronulla, NSW
The Book Connection, Dubbo, NSW
The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft, NSW
The Little Bookroom, Carlton North, VIC
The Younger Sun Bookshop, Yarraville, VIC
Tim's Bookshop, Canterbury, VIC
Ulysses Bookstore, Sandringham, VIC
Warrnambool Books, Warrnambool, VIC
Westbooks, Burswood, WA
Where the Wild Things Are, West End, QLD