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James Patterson donates funds for first World Book Day Award

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Wilfredo Lee/AP

(Read caption) James Patterson participates in an interview at his home overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, Fla.

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James Patterson’s latest effort towards encouraging people to read involves more schools in Britain and Ireland.

The World Book Day Award is being given for the first time and Patterson has donated 50,000 pounds (the equivalent of more than $75,000) for the award. Through the award, five schools will receive books for their libraries. The first-place winner will get £10,000 worth of books, while the school in second place will receive £5,000 and three schools will be named as runners-up, each receiving £3,000.

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In order to qualify, schools submit their answer to the question “Why we can’t live without books.” The response can take the form of everything from a video to a rap to a mural, among other mediums. Schools have until Jan. 30 to submit their answer. 

“When I go out to speak to librarians or educators, I'll say, 'I'm here to save lives,' and I don't think that's an overstatement,” Patterson said in a statement. “If kids don't become competent readers, they'll have so much trouble getting through school.” 

Check out the award page here.