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By Piper Castillo, Times staff writer
Published January 6, 2008

Jacqui Oester,reading coach at Rawlings Elementary School in Pinellas Park, kept a promise she made to her students last month. Since the children set a school record, reading 5,868 books collectively in November, Oester and the school's principal dyed their hair pink for a day.

What is on your nightstand?

I wish I could say War and Peace, but at this point, my time reading is limited. I've got True Believer by Nicholas Sparks. I first got into him with Message in a Bottle. It seems I used to read only for work and knowledge-building, and I've made a conscious effort to find books strictly for pleasure.

What are your students reading?

Along with Junie B. Jones, Harry Potter and Magic Tree House books, Judy Blume is still very popular. . . . Are You There God? It's Me Margaret was a favorite of mine when I was in school. Kids still love it. And a popular, newer author right now is Jane O'Connor and the Fancy Nancy books. It's about a little girl with a big vocabulary.

Piper Castillo can be reached at


[Last modified January 2, 2008, 15:44:33]

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