ReadKiddoRead Board of Directors

James Patterson has been the number-one selling author in America for the past three years, with more than 16 million books sold in North America during 2007 alone. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children's lists.

Patterson is a champion of reading and for several years sponsored the James Patterson Pageturner awards, which rewarded people and organizations that spread the excitement and joy of books and reading. Through this and other efforts he has given millions of dollars to people and causes that are working to spread the joy and excitement of reading. READKIDDOREAD—which helps parents and educators connect their children with the books that will turn them into lifelong readers—is his latest innovation in this area.

His foray into writing books for all ages was the critically acclaimed Maximum Ride series, which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list at #1 and remained there for twelve straight weeks. The series has so far made appearances on The New York Times bestsellers lists ninety-four cumulative times, proving that kids of all ages love page turners. Maximum Ride was an American Library Association 2005 Teens Top Ten pick and was a London Times Book of the Week selection and a Book Sense 2007 Children's Pick.

Patterson is the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past dozen years, featuring Alex Cross and including the Hollywood-adapted "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls," starring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. He is also the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past five years, featuring Lindsay Boxer and the other members of the Women's Murder Club, from which the ABC television drama series is adapted. He has authored books behind six films on the Hollywood fast-track, including the Maximum Ride movie forthcoming from Avi Arad, the producer of X-Men and Spiderman. Most recently, New Regency Pictures has optioned The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, James's newest #1-bestselling all-ages title, released in July 2008.

He is the author of novels—from The Thomas Berryman Number (1976) to Honeymoon (2005)—that have won awards including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award.

In 2008, he also began authoring graphic novels for young readers, and is releasing editions in both the Daniel X and Maximum Ride series.

James lives in Florida with his family.

You can find out more information about James and his books at

Judy Freeman ( is a well-known consultant, writer, and speaker on children's literature, storytelling, and all aspects of librarianship. She is a visiting lecturer at the School of Information, and Library Science at Pratt Institute in New York City, where she teaches courses on children's literature and storytelling. A former school librarian, she gives conferences, workshops, speeches, and performances throughout the U.S. and the world for teachers, librarians, parents, and children, and is a national seminar presenter for BER (Bureau of Education and Retext). Judy served as a member of the Newbery Committee to select the Newbery Award book for the year 2000 and was on the Sibert Committee for 2008.

Judy's books include Once Upon a Time: Using Storytelling, Creative Drama, and Reader's Theater with Children in Grades PreK-6 (Libraries Unlimited, 2007); Books Kids Will Sit Still For 3 (2006) and its popular companions Books Kids Will Sit Still For: The Complete Read-Aloud Guide (1990), and More Books Kids Will Sit Still For (1995) all considered indispensable resource for literature-based classrooms and libraries; and the yearly The Winners Handbook, based on her Winners Workshops, reviewing her top 100 children's books of the past year. She also writes several online book review columns, including "Desperate Librarians" for the online fiction database NoveList, and "What's New" for School Library Journal's Curriculum Connections. Her latest and most exciting project is writing children's book reviews and other content for READKIDDOREAD.

Some of the reviews on this site have been adapted from entries in Judy Freeman's books, including the "Books Kids Will Sit Still For" series and "The Winners Handbook" series, and from her monthly "Wild About Books" columns for School Library Media Activities Monthly, all published by Libraries Unlimited, a Greenwood Publishing Group Imprint. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.

Michael Pietsch is the Publisher of Little, Brown and Company and Executive Vice President of Hachette Book Group. He entered book publishing in 1978 while a senior at Harvard College, as he interned for David R. Godine, Publisher, in Boston. He joined Charles Scribner's Sons, then still run by Charles Scribner Jr., in 1979, and while there had the honor of editing a posthumous memoir by Ernest Hemingway. He worked as an editor at Harmony Books, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, from 1985 to 1991.

In 1991 Michael joined Little, Brown and Company and was appointed Editor in Chief in 1999 and Publisher in 2001. In 2000 he was honored for Editorial Achievement in the annual LMP Awards. Some of the writers he has worked with are the novelists Martin Amis, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Connelly, Janet Fitch, John le Carre, Rick Moody, Walter Mosley, James Patterson, George Pelecanos, Alice Sebold, Anita Shreve, and David Foster Wallace; the nonfiction writers John Feinstein, Peter Guralnick, and David Sedaris; and the cartoonist R. Crumb. Recently Little, Brown acquired rights to a memoir by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, a book he is very much looking forward to publishing. Michael lives in Ossining, New York, with his wife, a children's book editor, and their three children. Right now he is reading The Children's Homer with his six-year-old son and it is at a really exciting part!

Megan Tingley is Publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she publishes books for children ages 0-16 and Senior Vice President of Hachette Book Group. During her tenure as publisher, LBYR has published a number of award-winning titles including the National Book Award winner The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and NBA finalists Luna by Julie Anne Peters, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill; and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winner The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Other distinguished authors include Ed Emberley, Woody Guthrie, Robie Harris, Mary Ann Hoberman, Holly Hobbie, Patrick McDonnell, Stephenie Meyer, Todd Parr, James Patterson, and Jerry Spinelli.

Having worked with preschool children throughout high school and college, Megan began her publishing career in the children's book department at Little, Brown in 1987. In 1993, she was selected as the first children's book editor to win the Tony Godwin Award for promising young editors. She is also the recipient of the Time Warner Andrew Heiskell Award "for exceptional contributions to equal opportunity and human rights" in recognition of her work establishing a children's library and reading program at two family homeless shelters in Boston, MA. Some favorite books from her childhood include: the picture books A Snowy Day, The Nutshell Library, and Ferdinand, and the novels Charlotte's Web, James and the Giant Peach, The Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and Watership Down. Megan lives with her husband, a writer, and her two young children in New York.

Andrea Spooner is Senior Executive Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, where she acquires and edits picture books and fiction for children and young adults as well as select nonfiction titles. Prior to joining Little, Brown in 2003, she worked in the children's book departments at William Morrow, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, and she was a partner in the launch of SeaStar at North-South Books. She has worked with a number of award-winning and bestselling authors and artists including Molly Bang, Marc Brown, Patrick Carman, Jules Feiffer, Michael Hague, Robie Harris, Alice Hoffman, Steven Kellogg, James Patterson, Jerry Pinkney, Stephenie Meyer, and Rosemary Wells. She is the editor of James Patterson's Pageturner novels including the Maximum Ride and Daniel X series.

Ned Rusthas his M.A. in English Education from New York University. He's currently working for Little, Brown and Company as a brand manager, and is a co-author with James on a coming title, Daniel X: Watch the Skies. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone and on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

Kyle Zimmer has focused on the intersection of policy, business and social sectors throughout her life. Early in her career, Kyle worked in the political arena and then went on to practice law, representing a wide spectrum of corporate and social sector clients. During this time, Kyle began volunteering to mentor a child at a local shelter. It was here that she became painfully aware of the limited resources and almost nonexistent access to books children in local mentoring programs battle.

Her firsthand experience working with local heroes committed to improving opportunities for low-income youth inspired Kyle and two colleagues to found First Book in 1992. Three years later, Kyle began serving full time as President of the organization. Under her leadership, First Book has distributed over 60 million books to children in thousands of communities in the United States. In addition, First Book has successfully launched several new subsidiaries—including the First Book National Book Bank and The First Book Marketplace—and has opened offices in Canada.

Kyle's commitment to innovation and integration across sectors has earned her a reputation as a social sector leader. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Ashoka which works to ensure that social entrepreneurs and their innovations continue to inspire a new generation of local changemakers to create positive social change. She was also named 2007 Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the United States by the Geneva-based Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In July of 2008, Kyle was named the first ever American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketer of the Year.

Mark Nichols is the Senior Director, Publisher Initiatives, at the American Booksellers Association, the national trade association for independent booksellers. After 18 years as an independent bookseller in various locations in Maine and Connecticut, he joined Little, Brown and Company in 1994, subsequently holding positions in sales and marketing at Chronicle Books and the Time Warner Book Group before joining the ABA in 2000.

Mark has edited two collections, Book Sense Best Books (Newmarket Press, 2004), and Book Sense Best Children's Books (Newmarket Press, 2005), and serves on the Advisory Council of the New York Center for Independent Publishing as well as on the Advisory Board of Reading Group Choices.

Ed Masessa is Senior Manager of Product Development at Scholastic Book Fairs in Lake Mary, Florida. His specific responsibilities include the selection of books in the fantasy, adventure, sports, and graphic novel categories, chosen from over 100 different publishers.

Ed joined Scholastic in 1996 as a Field Representative and moved to Regional Operations Manager before joining the book selection team in 1999. A graduate of Rutgers University and Rutgers Graduate School of Business, he worked for Mack Trucks and Alfa Romeo as a purchasing manager, and now considers himself the poster child for career change.

In 1993, a friend put him in touch with someone who had self-published a children's book and needed to market it. He did some research into the children's book field and was hooked. At the time, he didn't even know what a Caldecott Medal was, but somehow he was lucky enough to sit with a woman from Rutgers who was on the Caldecott committee. When she explained the mechanics of a good book, he realized there was so much more to the field. As a kid, he took things apart to see how they worked and that's how he approached the children's book industry. He read all the books he could get his hands on and it clicked for him, "like diagramming a sentence."

Ed is an active member of the SCBWI and attends several reading, library and graphic novel conventions every year. Because of the nature of his job, he has direct exposure to the reading habits of children at the grass roots level. He is also the author of several books including the Wandmaker's Guidebook, a New York Times #1 Bestseller, and the Time Traveler's Journal.

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director of LitLife and LitWorld. She is also the Founding Director of Books for Boys, a literacy initiative at the Children's Village, a residential school for at-risk boys ages 6-21. Pam and Books for Boys have been the recipient of the James Patterson PageTurner Award for excellence in bringing literacy to underserved populations.

Pam is a motivational speaker for audiences of teachers, administrators, librarians and parents on best practice methods for improving children's skills in reading and writing, and has authored The Complete 4 for Literacy (Scholastic 2007), The Complete Year Series (Scholastic 2008), and What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child and All the Best Times to Read Them (Penguin 2009), the winner of the Gold Award for the National Parenting Publications.

Pam is on the advisory board of the Dream Charter School in Harlem, the Leadership Council of Global Action for Children, the Advisory Board of the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement and the English Language Arts Scope and Sequence Advisory Group for the New York City Department of Education.

Joan Kindig is currently an Associate Professor at James Madison University where she teaches pre-service teachers and graduate students classes in Reading and Children's Literature. Active in both children's and adolescent literature, she served on the 2008 Caldecott committee and chaired the Carnegie Award. Joan is on the editorial board of Capitol Choices, a book selection committee that creates a list of noteworthy books for children from preschool through high school. In addition, she compiles an annual "best of the year" list designed for teachers and parents, Best Bets for the Classroom, which is available on the Virginia State Reading Association's web page ( Joan is currently chair of the Virginia Readers' Choice Award in Virginia.