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Author Shares Reading Aversion Tale in Scarsdale

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – First-time author Tommy Greenwald said he tried everything he could think of to get his three sons interested in reading. Nothing worked. So he wrote a book about it.

The result: "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading," a novel geared to third through eighth-graders.

Greenwald talked about his book Wednesday night to about two dozen people at Scarsdale Public Library.

"The book was inspired by my three sons – Charlie, Joe and Jack – and the struggle we had to get them to open a book of any kind in elementary and middle school," Greenwald said before the event. "I tried to find books about it, but all I found was books about kids that hated to read and by the end of the book they loved to read. I thought what was missing was a book about a boy who didn't like to read at the beginning and still didn't like it at the end."

That, Greenwald said, was his experience. "My sons are older now, in high school and they still don't read much for fun."

Greenwald said the book, on the surface, is about a middle school-age boy who is reluctant to read and is interested in all the things middle school boys are typically interested in. "I was afraid the book would only find a niche audience," he said, "but it seems to have found universal appeal."

Finding mass appeal is what Greenwald does for a living. When he's not writing, Greenwald is executive creative director at Spotco , developing ads for Broadway shows.

His publisher, Roaring Brook Press, has signed him for four more "Charlie Joe Jackson" books, with the next one, "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit," due out this summer. The books are sold out locally, but are available online in both hard copy and electronic editions.

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