Rolling Out

Read or else: Ty Allan Jackson says reading is the key to success

Read or else: Ty Allan Jackson says reading is the key to success
Ty Allan Jackson (Photo credit: Augusta Rose)

Ty Allan Jackson writes children’s books, but beyond that, he is a motivator. Jackson’s career as a writer began with his son’s lemonade stand thirteen years ago. After making fifty dollars in a few hours on a hot summer’s day, Jackson’s young son asked, “What am I supposed to do with all this money?” Jackson tore through local bookstores searching for books to help teach children financial literacy and found nothing. He decided to fill that absence with his own work, penning the popular Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire. In it, the titular character, out to become a millionaire in his own right, teaches children the pathways of banking, entrepreneurship and investing.

Rolling out sat down with Ty Allan Jackson to get a closer view of him as a person, writer and motivational speaker.

What writers or figures do you see as being influential to you as a writer or as a person?

Stephen King as a writer really helped me learn about writing about detail. He’s so involved, I mean, he talks about, he could spend three pages just on a blade of grass that somebody’s walking on, right. Not to mention, I love horror. So the way that he manipulates fear and emotion and stuff like that, was huge for me. Shel Silverstein, who is a children’s book poet, is really just one of the great geniuses in the world of children’s literature.

You often write about superheroes to give young people a role model to look up to. Who was your favorite superhero as a kid and why?

It was Spider-Man, hands down. Peter Parker was a young, awkward science kid from Queens. Well, I was a young, awkward science kid from the Bronx. I had that relatability. And that’s why my characters are so important … just normal, average, everyday kids with extraordinary powers.

Read about Jackson’s literary campaign “Read or Else” on the next page.

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