Years ago, while attending a writing retreat, the great kidlit author Kirby Larson mentioned a group of teachers who had taken the leap into the blogosphere and were writing posts about books and the reading life. Teachers talking about titles for children and teens? I scribbled the name of the group--and the blog--in my notebook. I had to read what they were writing.

And I did. And I still do. And I always will.

If you haven't heard of the Nerdy Book Club, give yourself time to check out their site or Twitter feed. It's fun. It's a good resource. It uplifts. It gets serious. It gives out awards. It promotes. It teaches. In the end, it is a club, and today, it features my first club post:

This post is inspired by my family's influence on my childhood experience with reading.

For instance, my mom, who drove endless cycles, library to house and back again. Who helped carry piles of books and kept track of return dates. Who, wisely, set us free early to walk, skateboard, or bike ride to Cedar Roe Library and be responsible for our own library card.

Or my dad, who made sure we had a sturdy, family dictionary and a cohesive encyclopedia set. Who read the paper every day and made me curious about biographies.

Or my sisters. My oldest read always and often and never gave a second thought to closing herself into her room to disappear into a book, which gave me permission to escape too. My sister closest in age read edgy coming of age books, and in secret agreement, let me know where they were stored so I could read them myself. My sister in-between was the one who joined my reading life, and later, allowed me to join hers.

I write about this sister in the Nerdy Book Club post, a tale of paying it forward, reading up, and reading out. Meaning, reading outside our comfort zone. It's fantastic for kids, but in this world, it's imperative for adults. Get to know someone, something, some place that you don't know in your everyday life. And once you do, share the material. Because, it's true...

Reading could change the world.