The children’s section of the Sarum College Bookshop has had a facelift thanks to a grant from the best-selling US author James Patterson.
Sarum College was among 62 independent bookshops across the UK and Ireland to receive funds following the final phase of the author and philanthropist’s scheme to fund independent bookshops with a dedicated children’s book section.
Patterson said he hopes the grants help to bring attention to the important contributions of independent bookshops especially those which inspire children to become lifelong readers.
Jenny Monds, who manages the bookshop as director of learning resources, says she hopes the more appealing children’s section will encourage young people to stop and browse. She’s especially keen to attract children to Bible stories.
“The Bible was written before widespread literacy and stories were read aloud and memorised. Children are often read to and read aloud to practise reading so the language in Bible stories is ideal for children. Good retellings of Bible stories offer compelling narrative to engage children as they develop a rounded education about the world and an appreciation for literature. Some of my favourites are the ‘Young David’ books by Fiona Veitch Smith. Fiona has written a series of books about King David as a child. These are wonderfully illustrated and appealing because not only do they tell some of the story of David, but also deal with issues such as friendship, facing down bullies and fears such as being scared of the dark. They are ideal to read to groups of children.”
James Patterson has sold over 300 million books worldwide, and holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. Alongside his ever-popular thrillers, Patterson is also the internationally bestselling author of the highly praised Middle School books, Treasure Hunters, and the I Funny, House of Robots Confessions, Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard and Daniel X series for kids.
Patterson says bookshops are vital to communities and leave a lasting love of reading in children and adults. To encourage their work, he has donated USD1 million to support independent bookstores in the US, and £500,000 for those in the UK and Ireland.
“I have been completely overwhelmed by just how many independent bookshops have applied for grants again this year, and yet again have been impressed and enthused by the creativity of booksellers.”