2005 Winners

James Patterson announced the 34 winners of the 2005 James Patterson PageTurner Awards, who received cash prizes totaling more than $100,000. Among the winners are schools, bookstores, libraries, and other organizations, as well as individuals, that go to extraordinary lengths to spread the joy of books and reading across the country.

After reviewing more than 1,500 nominations over four months, Mr. Patterson is honoring schools who rally their students and entire communities around annual reading extravaganzas for thousands; local radio hosts who passionately promote writers and their books on the air (one even has her own action figure!); the mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, who made reading a critical part of his campaign; doctors and nurses who teach the importance of making reading a lifelong activity; individuals who mobilize the Hollywood community to celebrate reading; local libraries that provide reading programs and safe havens for underprivileged youth; and an NBA star who's not too famous to return to his hometown to promote the excitement of books and reading.

James Patterson says: "This is the proudest moment of my writing career, by a lot. I've read the nominations and was moved by so many of them. Next year, I promise, we'll make this an even bigger event and try to include any worthy cause we may have missed this time."


Dallas County Community Colleges | Dallas, TX

The Dallas County Community Colleges instituted and actively maintains an annual citywide "African American Read-In" for all schools – elementary and up – in the community. The Read-In is a free program that has provided books, book bags, bookmarks, readers, and reading opportunities to more than 100,000 children and adults since its inception, with the ultimate goal of helping participants to develop the lifelong good habit of reading together as a family and as a community.


Litquake | San Francisco, CA

The annual San Francisco literary festival Litquake actively involves the entire population of the sixth-largest city in the country, highlighting the lively, wilder side of the literary world. The event is a literary version of San Francisco's other music, film, and cultural festivities and exists to remind people – in an entertaining way – that reading truly is FUN!


Frederick Douglass Academy III | Bronx, NY

Frederick Douglass Academy III is a small college preparatory school. Its students, almost all of whom come from low-income families, enter the school several grade levels behind their peers in reading. FDA successfully raises these levels by focusing on reading for enjoyment and turning their students from kids who "despise" reading into lifelong pageturners

Augustus H. Burley Elementary School | Chicago, IL

In 1995 just 25 percent of Burley students were reading at or above grade level. In 2005, 77 percent are now at or above grade level, thanks to Burley's emphasis on reading as a pleasurable and lifelong activity and its focus on out-of-the-classroom events and activities for students and parents alike, with a continuous mission to get kids LOVING reading.

Family Literacy Foundation | San Diego, CA

The Family Literacy Program educates parents and caregivers about the importance of reading aloud to children in their preschool years in order to establish the roots that produce successful and lifelong readers. Since 1989, the Family Literacy Foundation has helped more than 171,000 people experience the magic of reading aloud, with the help of youth and adult volunteers who have contributed more than 168,000 hours.

Perri Klass / Reach Out and Read | Somerville, MA

Reach Out and Read is dedicated to training doctors and nurses to provide information to new parents about the developmental importance of reading aloud to young children. Now, Reach Out and Read is a nationwide initiative, with programs in all fifty states. Founder Dr. Klass once wrote: "When I think about children growing up in homes without books, I have the same visceral reaction as I have when I think of children in homes without milk or food or heat: It cannot be, it must not be."

The Denver Public Library | Denver, CO

The Denver Public Library offers 1,500 preschool children from low-income families the opportunity to attend "Outreach Storytime." DPL also offers 1,200 older children from low-income families the opportunity to attend their "After School Is Cool" program. Both programs help children develop reading skills, foster a love for books, and provide a safe place for children of all races to learn.

The Chris Webber Foundation | Detroit, MI

The pride of NBA star Chris Webber, the Chris Webber Foundation serves Detroit's troubled youth and families and highlights the entertainment value of reading through events with community heroes like the Detroit Police Department and Chris Webber himself. The Foundation donates thousands of books, and gives motivational speeches to thousands of Detroit-area children annually, making the Chris Webber Foundation a PageTurner hero.

Bill Tevendale / Reading Up to Par | Hoover, AL

Bill Tevendale is an active reading warrior in his community. Bill personally delivers and donates books to forty-five schools in his community every year. He also creates events with local celebrities to offer motivational testimonies about the fun and importance of reading.


John B. Gorrie Elementary School | Tampa, FL

John B. Gorrie Elementary School has an endless list of unique reading/book programs that incorporate other entertainment mediums as well as the community. Some are: "The Very Hungry "Caterpillar" – students create a life-size art installation of the book and display it in the school; create costumes; recruit actors/musicians; and ultimately put on a school-wide performance. "The Birthday Book Club" – students purchase discounted books at local bookstores and donate them to the school library in honor of their birthday.

Esme Raji Codell | Chicago, IL

For the past eighteen years, Esme Raji Codell has independently worked to show children and parents that "reading is more than a skill; it's a lifestyle." From traveling to over 60 cities in the country to appearing on National Public Radio, Esme tells anyone (and everyone) who will listen to promote the excitement of books and reading. She even created The PlanetEsme Bookroom, a literary salon which gives the entire city of Chicago a place to go to experience the great joys of books and reading as a community.

Screen Actors Guild Foundation's Florida BookPALS | Orlando, FL

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation's Florda BookPALS is a unique and wildly successful community service program that makes a difference by using the power and influence of television, stage and screen to cast actors as role models for reading. They work to encourage local, professional actors seen in movies, on television, or on the stage who have made a commitment to kids and books and reading.

New York City Police Museum | New York, NY

The New York City Police Museum is a non-profit museum located in Lower Manhattan. In an ongoing effort to preserve and exhibit the history of the world's most famous police force, the museum instituted a reading series called "Suspense in the City" and has become a forum for fans of mystery novels to meet and learn about new and exciting writers as well as a forum where new fans are introduced to writers on a daily basis.

Center for the Book | Fairfax, VA

The much-acclaimed Center of the Book has created and continues to create a broad community of page-turners. Including members of book clubs, university students, busloads of senior centers, church groups, as well as various cultural organizations, the Center for the Book hosts a myriad of creative series and events all surrounding the joys and wonderment of books and reading.

Melanie Moore / Badgerdog Literary Publishing | Austin, TX

Badgerdog Literary Publishing is an acclaimed non-profit organization started by Melanie Moore dedicated to teaching and publishing in order to amplify the voices of the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the international, and traditional writers of all ages. Badgerdog is a unique program that pairs out of work writers with underserved teens and in only four semesters of operation, its after-school Language Arts support programs, "Youth Voices in Ink" and "BadgerPups" (grades 3-5), have served more than 400 at-risk students in Central Texas.

Community Works | San Francisco, CA

Community Works has two programs which promote literacy in unique and imaginative ways: ROOTS (literacy and arts-based in-and after-school program for elementary, middle, and high school youth affected by familial incarceration) and REST (Read and Educate to Stay Together, which uses learning and reading as a means of family reunification for incarcerated parents and their children). Both programs utilize literacy instruction to a critical end: to break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration and poverty.

Mayor John Peyton | Jacksonville, FL

John Peyton, the mayor of Jacksonville, FL, is committed to making his city, a city of almost one million people, the most literate city in the country! As a mayoral candidate, his platform surrounded the importance of reading and literacy and as mayor he has put his money where his mouth is, so to speak, to ensure that his goals regarding state-wide literacy and education – are met, and even in many places, exceeded.

Books for Boys at the Children's Village | Dobbs Ferry, NY

The Children's Village is a residential school for vulnerable, at-risk boys ages 6-21, the largest of its kind in the country. Books for Boys brings books, volunteer readers, visiting authors and special literacy projects and adventures to the boys at The Children's Village with the long-term goal of having the boys "feel like a part of a world of words, feel sustained by the power and pleasures of story, and become lifelong readers and writers."

Behind the Book | New York, NY

Behind the Book is a nonprofit program dedicated to exciting children about reading and reenergizing instructors, librarians, and other public school educators about how they teach reading, with a mission to especially motivate reluctant readers to become engaged by connecting them with books and authors relevant to their lives.

Barri Rosenblum Evins/ From the Heart | Los Angeles, CA

Barri Rosenblum Evins established the grassroots nonprofit From the Heart in order to get books into the hands of children in need. Her multiple programs include: "Bring a Book, Not a Present" birthday parties; Kids Affected by Katrina – creating personal libraries for children who were evacuated; building 150 Little Libraries for Head Start Centers in LA; and she has successfully mobilized the Hollywood community to participate in Celebrity Auctions and donations involving Will Smith, Mark McGuire, Meatloaf, Bill Cosby, Carly Simon, etc.

Victor Iannone, Borders | Ann Arbor, MI

A true standout in the bookseller community, Senior Bookseller Victor Iannone, from Borders Bookstores brings a consistently high level of commitment and infectious passion to his work. A known "discoverer" of new authors, Victor works closely with his buyer colleagues to actively promote their titles in unique and effective ways. But his influence reaches beyond the strict parameters of his job; Victor goes above and beyond to spread his own infectious joy about books and reading.

Nancy Quinn, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop | Milwaukee, WI

Nancy Quinn is a true dynamo in the bookselling community. She heads a nationally recognized author appearance program called Live at Schwartz, hosting about 250 authors a year (up from 40 a year in 2001) in five stores. Nancy really thinks outside of the box when it comes to presenting fun, interactive, and unique author events, partnering with local businesses and restaurants, and continues to reach more and more people in her community.

Mary Gay Shipley – That Bookstore in Blytheville | Blytheville, AR

Mary Gay Shipley has been promoting books, authors, and reading in Small Town America for an admirable twenty-nine years. Even though Blytheville is not exactly a literary Mecca, Mary Gay's ceaseless enthusiasm about books and reading has created a thriving book community in a relatively poor state with a low literacy rate. Her boundless determination and her countless programs to help children and adults catch her fever about books and reading is infections.

Suzanne Beecher and DearReader.com | Sarasota, FL

Suzanne Beecher is an online bookseller for Books-A-Million and dearreader.com. In today's multi-media-infused world, where people spend more and more time online, Suzanne Beecher has found a way to infiltrate cyber-space to spread the "virus" that is her excitement about books and reading. The mission of DearReader.com is to find fun and easy ways to get people back into the habit of reading.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh, PA

The Carnegie Library has celebrated the start of summer reading for children of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County with an exceptional event they call the Summer Reading Extravaganza. With over 26,000 participating children, this year's theme was Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds. Children were invited to dream of times long ago, read terrific tales of daring and adventure, and enjoy summer library activities filled with medieval magic and merriment, dragons, castles, knights, and fun.

Kim Charlson / Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library | Watertown, MA

Kim Charlson is the only library director with a Master's degree in Library Science in the United States who also happens to be totally blind. She is an advocate for access to printed information through the widest possible use of special formats, including tape, braille, large print, adaptive technology, the internet, ebooks, digital audio, and other emerging technologies. Serving on several committees for the Library of Congress, Kim has distinguished herself as a recognized national and international expert on library and information services for people with disabilities, braille literacy, adaptive technology in libraries, and information access.


Oprah Winfrey
Chicago, IL

The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC,
New York Public Radio

New York, NY

Don Imus
New York, NY

Good Morning America, ABC
New York, NY

Nancy Pearl, KUOW-FM
Seattle, WA

Terry Gross, National Public Radio
Philadelphia, PA

Today, NBC
New York, NY

The Early Show, CBS
New York, NY

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