Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 9.39.52 AMThe Nerdy Book Club has chosen “Paperboy” as a finalist in the 2013 Nerdy Book Awards. To those not familiar with book blogs and grassroots efforts in literature, I consider this a high honor.

You can read about the Nerdy Book Club here, but I’ll share some of the reasons I appreciate being honored by this community of readers.

First, the Nerdy Book Club is nothing more than a band of teachers, librarians, parents and readers who try to connect young readers with good books. The phenomenal growth of the club in two years is a testament to how much it was needed.

Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year. In this digital age, someone can write a book and then flood the Internet with self-serving reviews. Publishers obviously want to sell books, so they gear up the marketing machines.

The Nerdy Book Club stays above the fray. It has no agenda other than to seek out good books. Nerdy Book Club bloggers are not compensated. The only way they can be “bought” is to write them a good book.

“Paperboy” is a finalist in the category of young-adult fiction. I’ve always thought my book fit better in this category than in middle-grade fiction even though the protagonist is only 11 years old. If I’m to be completely honest, I think it’s a book all ages can appreciate. I have had just as lively discussions about my book in a room full of 80 year olds as a I have had in a classroom with 8th graders.

Since this is a grassroots effort, the book club will open the final ballot to all readers in two weeks. You may cast your vote in eight different categories. I urge everyone to become active in the Nerdy Book Club whether or not you cast your vote for “Paperboy.”

I became curious about the word “nerd” and wondered if it was a part of the lexicon in 1959, the year that “Paperboy” takes place. I learned that Dr. Seuss first used the word in the early 1950s but that it didn’t become a part of the common vocabulary until the sitcom “Happy Days” popularized it in the 1970s.

I can assure you that if the Nerdy Book Club had been around in the 1950s, our “Paperboy” would have been a card-carrying member.

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