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James Patterson Donating 45,000 Books To New York City Students

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Author James Patterson, of Palm Beach Fla, poses in his study Friday, Feb. 28, 2003. (AP Photo/ Steve Mitchell) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) - James Patterson's, one of America's most prolific authors, will donate 45,000 copies of his books for young readers to students in New York, a city official said on Monday.

New York Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said sixth-grade students in more than 300 schools throughput the city's five boroughs will be offered the books to encourage them to read during their summer vacation.

"We know that in the long-term summer reading is critical in enabling our students to succeed both in and out of the classroom, and this donation will help do just that," Farina said in a statement announcing the donation.

Patterson, the author of "Unlucky 13," "Cross My Heart" and "NYPD Red," has sold more than 300 million books worldwide and is one of the best-selling authors of all time.

The fictional psychologist Alex Cross his among is most famous characters. In addition to his adult novels, Patterson has written the highly praised Middle School books for young readers such "I Even Funnier" and "Ultimate Showdown."

The donation to New York City follows a similar program in Chicago, where the author gave away more than 28,000 books to students. (Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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