Author James Patterson is giving away 45,000 copies of his books as part of a drive to get New York City's youngsters reading.

The Alex Cross creator, one of the world's most successful writers, hopes the move will encourage kids to enjoy literature during their summer break.

It follows a similar campaign in Chicago, Illinois, where he gave away 28,000 books.

Patterson says, "I love New York City, and I'm so delighted to be sharing the gift of books and reading with the city's sixth graders.

"These students have the potential to do great things, and supporting and nurturing that potential is our most important job as parents, and as citizens."