Who nurtured you to become a reader?

I do love to learn how authors became the readers they are, and therefore, the writers they are. I have often heard praise for librarians, a specific teacher, an uncle or aunt and I am amazed at the depth of gratitude expressed.

Let me share an anecdote I recently read that brought a smile to my heart. Karen Hesse was asked, “What was the next-best thing— aside from the Newbery award itself, of course—about winning their medals? What happens after the call?” She told a story of how her publisher helped her locate three primary mentors from her childhood, her fifth- and sixth grade teachers and her public librarian. She told how these three people had a profound effect on the writer she became. She contacted them and was able to thank them for the depth and breadth of their influence.

Don’t be shy—do tell the people in your life how they have affected the reader/writer you are today. It takes a universe to nurture children to grow up to be lifelong readers. Be part of the universe that nurtures a child to become a lover of reading. I can’t think of a better endeavor. It is a gift that keeps on giving.


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