Manatee Middle School sixth-grader Celina Da La Cruz, center, reacts with Stephanie Padron as Estela Serrano, all 12, watches on while reading stories from Padron's published book at the school on Thursday afternoon. 285 students participated in the project in which they wrote stories and illustrated pages for their books throughout the semester.

Photo by JASON EASTERLY, Naples Daily News

Manatee Middle School sixth-grader Celina Da La Cruz, center, reacts with Stephanie Padron as Estela Serrano, all 12, watches on while reading stories from Padron's published book at the school on Thursday afternoon. 285 students participated in the project in which they wrote stories and illustrated pages for their books throughout the semester.

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