Jeb Bush and family in town for Celebration of Reading

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The 15th annual Celebration of Reading benefits the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which funds family literacy and teen mentoring programs across the country while raising public awareness about the importance of family literacy. The program features readings and anecdotes from members of the Bush family and best-
selling authors.

A special breakfast this morning will honor student winners of a writing contest. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy will honor winners of the 2015 Student Writing Contest. The contest is part of the Foundation’s annual Celebration of Reading event to promote reading and lifelong learning among families.

This year’s celebration kicks off at breakfast with Markus Zusak, the Sydney, Australia-based author of five books including the international bestseller, “The Book Thief” and Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott as they celebrate the work of local student writers.

Students will read excerpts from their winning pieces and take photos with the VIPs following a certificate presentation.

Middle and high school students in Lee, Charlotte, Collier and Hendry Counties were invited to write an essay topic focused on the following aspect of Markus Zusak’s award-winning book, “The Book Thief”: The movie is narrated by Death. When Liesel’s family dies, she picks up the book, “The Grave Digger” but she cannot read it. She is taken in by a German family, and through the help of her stepdad, she learns to read. How did the book portray the beauty of reading and how did it affect her character development?

This year’s featured authors include:
• Robin Cook, M.D., widely credited with introducing the medical thriller genre to popular literature. His breakthrough novel, “Coma,” has been followed by a succession of 28 New York Times bestsellers, including “Outbreak,” “Cure” and “Cell.”

• Christopher Buckley, political satirist and author of numerous bestsellers including “They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?”, “Thank You for Smoking,” and “Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir.” The son of William F. Buckley Jr. and Patricia Buckley, Christopher served as a speechwriter for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

• Markus Zusak, the Sydney, Australia-based author of five books including the international bestseller, “The Book Thief,” which spent 375 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and remains there eight years after publication. The blockbuster movie debuted in late 2013.

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