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Press Release

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Renowned Author Celebrates Literacy with Leon County Students

~ Best-selling author Julianna Baggott shares personal stories to encourage a lifelong passion for reading ~

TALLAHASSEE – In recognition of Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! distinguished author and writer Julianna Baggott today discussed the importance of literacy and reading with students at Pineview Elementary and Griffin Middle Schools in Leon County. Baggott, who has published 16 books including The Anybodies under the pen name N.E. Bode, provided attendees a personal glimpse into the life of a writer and the importance of reading and literacy in her career. Students at Holy Comforter Episcopal School – through Baggott’s nonprofit Kids in Need – Books in Deed, donated nearly 3,000 books to the schools to help promote a love of reading.

“Seeing an author, in person, makes reading come alive. It helps students make the connection that a book isn’t born from a bookshelf but a voice. I try to send them the message that they, too, have a voice,” said Ms. Baggott. “Reading creates whole worlds in the mind. It can be transcending.”

Julianna Baggott is a critically acclaimed, bestselling author who has published 16 books over the last 10 years with three novels slated for publication in the next three years. She writes bestselling novels for younger readers under the pen name N.E. Bode as well as under Julianna Baggott. The Anybodies trilogy was a People Magazine pick alongside David Sedaris and Bill Clinton, a Washington Post Book of the Week, a Girl's Life Top Ten, and a Booksense selection. There are 31 foreign editions of her novels to date.

“Our students were thrilled to share in the literacy celebration, and getting up close and personal with a real-life author made the experience relatable,” said Principal Gwendolyn Lynn from Griffin Middle School. “Today’s event with Ms. Baggott sparked a renewed passion for reading in our students and I’m certain that many of them are already dreaming of a future that has them following in her inspiring footsteps.”

Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! is a weeklong celebration from Jan. 25-29, created to raise awareness of the programs and projects offered by the Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! office and its partner agencies and organizations. The Department of Education actively works with community groups and volunteer organizations throughout the state to make reading a priority in students’ lives.

To learn more about the week’s events, visit www.justreadflorida.com. To learn more about Julianna Baggott, visit www.juliannabaggott.com.