College Book Bucks

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College Book Bucks is a scholarship program founded by author James Patterson to help high school seniors pay for books. The program awards gift certificates to buy books at independent bookstores affiliated with IndieBound,[1] a program run by the American Booksellers Association.

Winners are chosen based on their essays answering the question, “How has your favorite book inspired you toward what you'd like to do in life?” Submissions are judged by Patterson and members of the board for ReadKiddoRead, Patterson’s pro-literacy website.[2]

College Book Bucks currently awards fifteen first-place winners (who receive $1,000), twenty second-place winners (who receive $500), and two hundred third-place winners (who receive $250), making 235 winners and awarding $75,000.[2] In 2012 Patterson donated $70,000 of the prize money, while his publisher, Hachette Book Group, contributed the remaining $5,000.[2]

The scholarship was set up in 2010,[3] at which point it was called Dollars for Scholars. The name College Book Bucks was used in its second year. Patterson has stated that the scholarship’s goal is “to give some promising students some help picking up the books they’ll need for their studies.”[4] The students may use the money to buy textbooks, or “use the certificates to start building a library of books.”[4]


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