The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

by Alice Ozma

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446583787
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 03/05/2012
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 332,856
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alice Ozma, a recent Rowan University graduate, currently lives in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia, PA. She is passionate about literature, education, and working with children. Find out more about this author by visiting her website: www.makeareadingpromise.com.

Read an Excerpt

List of Books from the Reading Streak

The Last Treasure by Janet S. Anderson
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
The Barn by Avi
Wish You Well by David Baldacci
Harry the Poisonous Centipede by Lynne Reid Banks
Searching for David’s Heart by Cherie Bennett
A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Trouble River by Betsy byars
The Family under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Murder on the Orient Express and Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman
My Daniel by Pam Conrad
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
James and the Giant Peach, Danny the Champion of the World, and The Minpins by Roald Dahl
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Great Expectations, The Pickwick Papers, A Christmas Carol, and The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
Tales from Silver Lands by Charles J. Finger
Whirligig and The Half-A-Moon Inn by Paul Fleischman
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
The Other Shepards by Adele Griffin
Among the Hidden and Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
Indigo by Alice Hoffman
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
Stormbreaker, Point Blank, Skeleton Key, Ark Angel, and Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz
Up a Road Slowly and Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
The Secret Journey by Peg Kehret
In the Stone Circle by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
Beyond the Open Door by Andrew Lansdown
Secret in the Woods by Lois Gladys Leppard
Spy X: The Code by Peter Lerangis
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
The Giver and Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
Journey by Patricia MacLachlan
Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days by Stephen Manes
The Doll People by Ann M. Martin
Good Night, Maman by Norma Fox Mazer
Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne
Thomas Jefferson: A Boy in Colonial Days by Helen A. Monsell
It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
A Year Down Under by Richard Peck
The Moosepire and Once Upon a Blue Moose by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
Select short stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Pawns by Willo Davis Roberts
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Missing May and The Islander by Cynthia Rylant
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Bears’ House by Marilyn Sachs
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Among the Dolls by William Sleator
Cat Running by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson
Maniac Magee and The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli
The Mouse of Amherst by Elizabeth Spires
Andy Jackson: Boy Soldier by Augusta Stevenson
Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan
Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman
Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
Each Little Bird That Sings and Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
The Moonlight Man by Betty Ren Wright
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
[LI_SB]
L. Frank Baum books:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Marvelous Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink in Oz
The Lost Princess of Oz
The Tin Woodman of Oz
The Magic of Oz
Glinda of Oz
Dot and Tot of Merryland
American Fairy Tales
The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale
Mother Goose in Prose
Queen Zixi of Ix
The Sea Fairies
Sky Island
The Enchanted Island of Yew
The Magical Monarch of Mo
Father Goose: His Book
Little Wizard Stories of Oz
[LI_SB]
Judy Blume books:
Freckle Juice
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Superfudge
Fudge-a-Mania
Double Fudge
The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo
[LI_SB]
Ramona books
by Beverly Cleary:
Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Brave
Ramona and Her Father
Ramona and Her Mother
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
Ramona Forever
Ramona’s World
[LI_SB]
Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol:
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective
Encyclopedia Brown Strikes Again (aka Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch)
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues
Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man
Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All
Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace
Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day
Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down
Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case
Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand
Encyclopedia Brown Carries On
Encyclopedia Brown Sets the Pace
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt
[LI_SB]
Harry Potter books
by J. K. Rowling:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Reading Promise 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful, readable, and compelling. The author talks about her years of reading every night with her librarian father (her mother leaves the family when she is quite young). This book is a reminder of how important it is for parents/grandparents to MAKE TIME to read to their children regularly, and to KEEP IT UP. It's a way of forging and keeping a relationship, developing real interests, and knowing what your kids are thinking. Nowadays parents give their kids hand-held games in preschool and leave them to entertain themselves. Later they wonder why their kids struggle with schoolwork and can't talk to grownups articulately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick and witty look at a father and a daughter bound together by their love of reading. The book is a serious of short segments from "the streak" which involved 3200+ nights of reading together. It proves the educational and emotional value of parents and children reading together.
BookhoundMP More than 1 year ago
This was not as enthralling as I hoped it would be, but all in all, it was a good read. I really enjoyed the bond between father and daughter, despite teenage angst and drama. I still read to my 5th grader, maybe not every night, but most nights and enjoy it. This book helped me see that I don't have to give that up even when she gets older. Definitely worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book pulls at your heart from the start. It brings back memories of childhood reading bedtime stories with my parents as well as exposing and reminding us all of the problems with our school systems. It will make anyone feel like pounding on thir school boards door to bring back the joy of reading in our education standards. If every school administrator read this, our literacy ratings would increase dramatically across the country. A must read!
pdt More than 1 year ago
I loved the bond between father and daughter, for the simple reason that it is all too rare. I thought I would love this book; but it just wasn't exciting enough to keep me entertained. Not a bad book; just not a great book!
mburris1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book truly captivated me. I loved the premise - that this young girl and her father made a pact to read together each night for 100 nights, only to have it extend for many years. I loved the lessons she learned along the way through the books they read, and I appreciated the list given at the end to see what they had chosen to read (and I checked to see how many I had read as well!) Reading aloud is so important for children of all ages, so I was delighted to find a book that emphasized this idea. As much as I enjoyed it, the end made it a cautionary tale: after her father returned to his job as librarian after a leave of absence, he finds that books have been replaced by computers - a frightening thought!
motherwright on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I read the first couple of chapters and the last couple of chapters, and it was a really "nice" book. I wish I had thought to do something similar with my children when they were young. But it is never too late to make a "Reading Promise" and I will be making mine soon
barlow304 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Maybe I'm a sucker for books about dads and daughters, but The Reading Promise seems to me to be a delightful memoir about a single father and the way he connected with his daughter through reading out loud. Written by the daughter (Alice Ozma), the book recounts the story of the The Streak, the 3,170 consecutive nights on which her father read aloud to her.In some ways, the book is also a coming of age story, as the daughter grows through the difficult years and becomes a young woman. Her father chooses books with themes that are appropriate to her emotional development and the books grow in difficulty and sophistication even as she does.Personal note: I'd like to thank my own daughter for giving me this book as a Christmas present. Like the Brozinas, we are a reading family.
Bellettres on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Very nice read about the relationship between Alice and her father, an elementary school librarian. The importance of reading (particularly the reading of literature) is stressed, not just for its "educational" value, but for the closeness that develops between father and daughter as a result of their pledge to read together every night.
l1zzyd on LibraryThing 10 months ago
After waiting all summer on in the library request line, I finally had a chance to read The Reading Promise. This memoir recalls the childhood of Alice Ozma and the relationship she developed with her father as he read to her each night. When she was younger, Alice challenged her dad to read to her for 1000 nights. Their reading streak (lasting over 3000 nights!) has inspired me to read to my children long after they can read for themselves. The books gave this single dad something to talk about with his daughter that went far beyond, "How was your day at school?" The Reading Promise reminds us of the importance of reading books, spending time with family, and keeping a promise. The list of books at the end will be a great resource for my own collection.
WordMaven on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When I first started reading Alice Ozma¿s The Reading Promise, I was disappointed. The book didn¿t live up to my expectation that she ¿ooh¿ and ¿ahh¿ over her favorite books, that she discuss her ideas and feelings about certain books, or that she describe in lush atmospheric detail how her favorite reads affected her. She was just talking about stuff that happened in her daily pre-teen life with her dad and sometimes her sister. Oh, the reading was there everyday as promised, but books didn¿t seem to be the central character. This was not what I was hoping for.But somewhere around chapter 6 or 7, I saw that Alice was trying to accomplish something besides fawning over her favorite books. It clicked for me that regardless of what was going on in their lives and in their home¿her older sister heading abroad to study for a year, a mother overdosing on pills, her high school prom¿her father kept his commitment to read to her every night with no slips, no dips, and no day¿s off, even when he was sick.As much as I love books and being read to, I believe there¿s something more important being shown in this book: the power of commitment and how to carry it out. Yes, books do change lives. But what a different place the world would be if parents had Jim Brozina¿s level of commitment and consistency. This is a wonderful book about the relationship between a father and his daughter. I would say that any woman who¿s looking for an example of what a healthy and loving relationship with a dependable dad looks like, need look no further than this book. I hope Alice Ozma realizes just how blessed she is.Highly recommended.
themiraclesnook on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Reading Promise My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma was a book I could not wait to read in fact I had wait for it to become available at my local library for a month and when I checked it out the librarian was jealous I got it before her since she is on the list. My expectation of this book was that Alice Ozma was going to detail a group of books that she remembered the most or maybe even reread as well as how they taught her lessons. This book was not that. I have to admit I was taken back thanks to my expectation. It was more than that. Alice writes of her childhood and The Streak (the challenge). It is about a relationship between a daughter and the first man of her life her daddy. I was touched by their relationship and inspired by her Father¿s passion to read to his daughter. I was able to see how the simple act of reading can bring a parent even closer to a child. I was inspired by how this block of time was so simple and how wonderful it kept on though out Alice¿s childhood. I was taken back to my own childhood and I reflected on in my case it was my mother who read to me and how to this day I can tell you a handful of my favorite books and how I read them to my children. I them thought at what age did that stop because it stopped somewhere around the third grade maybe. This by the way was when they started their challenge of 100 books every single night of the week. Once they reached that goal they extended the goal to 1000. I then reflected on my own children and it was about this time that they were to big for me to read to. I once heard that the best gifts are not gifts at all for they do last. The best gifts given are experiences they last they do not ware out or break or simply become forgotten and this challenge, what a gift it was for both parent and child. I laughed at Alice and her thought process as a child. She wrote so vividly about things like her getting locked into the school¿s office and looking for a portal behind the fax machine since she had tried her own closet at home and was not transported to another land like in the book The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe to the being afraid of John F Kennedy so what did her Dad do but take here to but his presidential library during a vacation. I have to say if you are a parent I recommend this book. Oh if I could just have a do over or have thought of the streak. This book is truly a beautiful story of a daughter¿s love. In the back of the book they have a list of some of the books they read that might inspire you to read to your children. I give this book 3 and ½ stars. I rate my books on a scale of 1 to 5. One being the worst and 5 being the best.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A series of vignettes about books the author and her father read to each other over the course of 3200+ nights-- from the time Alice was 9 years old until the night before she went to college. I was frankly underwhelmed by this book.The premise was so inviting, and since I'm so in love with books I thought it would be a fairy tale come true. My father was well-read but never read aloud to us. He did not come from that tradition. I think everyone in my family read so early that we didn't want to be read to, we wanted to do it ourselves.So perhaps I found Ozma's scenario contrived.Alice's father was an elementary school librarian who had the background and training to be able to spot exactly the right book at the right time to fill a need in his daughter's emotional life. Her parents had separated when she was young, she lived with her father, and she had a mighty imagination. Dad the librarian's choice of stories and commitment to his daughter are awesome. An example is her obsession as a 12 year old that JFK's dead body was at the foot of her bed, and her father's wearisome attempts to disabuse her of that notion. As a young parent I read to my children, but I'm not sure we'd have ever been able to hold up to this promise on either side. Either the children or the mother would probably have dropped out or skipped a night at least.In the end, having now grown up and graduated from college, Alice slips out of the fairy tale tent to climb a soap box as she describes the devastation wreaked upon her father when the school system began to allow less and less time for the librarian to read aloud to children, and began to shift to electronic resources instead of a total diet of paper. Her obvious dismay at the way her father was treated, and his subsequent early retirement, are trumpeted throughout the final chapters of the book. He did find a new audience by volunteering to read to elderly folks who no longer were able to do that for themselves, and seemed to be happy in being able to spread the gospel of reading.In addition to the full list of books they read during "the streak", the final chapter gives us a full page reading promise to sign. In addition to promising to read to ourselves and our children, she wants us to promise to * "...speak out if reading is cut from the school curriculum, and to fight for books whenever their value is challenged * ....tell everyone I know how reading calms me down, riles me up, makes me think, or helps me to get to sleep at night * ...to read, and to read to someone, as long as human thought is still valued and there are still words to be shared"She ends by saying "I promise to be there for books, because I know they will always be there for me."These last sentiments are what drives many of us to blog about the books we read, and I applaud her devotion to the written word. I'm just not sure getting them to sign a pledge to read is the way to go.
SamSattler on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared is not what I expected from its title. It is much more. I was initially intrigued by both the book¿s title and its cover, figuring it would focus (as the title indicates) on the books that one man and his daughter shared while she was growing up and how the reading impacted the little girl¿s life. That would have been enough to satisfy me. As it turns out, The Reading Promise does focus on their reading, if not so much on specific books, but it is more about how ¿The Streak¿ helped to create a very special bond between this father and daughter. The Streak is, of course, the hook that will draw most readers to Alice Ozma¿s memoir. Imagine this: 3,218 consecutive days during which Jim Brozina read aloud for a minimum of ten minutes to his daughter, Alice, regardless of what was going on in either of their lives during this eight-year period. The Streak started when Alice was in the fourth grade and it did not end until she left home for college. During this period, Alice¿s mother would leave the family, her older sister would leave home for a year as an exchange student, Alice would grow into a young woman with friends and plans of her own, and her father would begin dating again. But, despite a few near misses (one caused by her father¿s terrible case of laryngitis) and logistical problems caused by Alice¿s sleepovers with friends (during which the reading was accomplished by telephone), the reading streak survived until the two consciously pulled the plug on it at exactly the right moment. Jim, an elementary school librarian whose passion was reading to classes when they visited his library, used the reading streak to teach his daughter about life as she was experiencing it. As Alice puts it, ¿What he was doing specifically, was trying to use The Streak as a solution to a problem. It was something he did often, even it he wasn¿t doing it intentionally. There were just trends: after my mother moved out, we read stories about young girls without mothers. When there were bullies at school, we read about kids who outsmarted their nemeses rather than resorting to fistfights.¿There is little doubt that Jim and Alice are very close ¿ or that The Streak had much to do with assuring they would be so. Jim also believes that all of that reading, and the general love of books that Alice developed, also had plenty to do with making her an accomplished student. She was one of only three eighth grade students (of more than 300 in her class) to score ¿advanced proficient¿ in her state¿s reading test; she had the highest PSAT in her eleventh grade class; and she won to first place awards in a national competition during her senior year. Alice believes that The Streak was ¿really more of a promise.¿ She and her father promised to each other that they would always be there for each other, and the reading provided comfort and hope when they needed it most. Jim and Alice believe in ¿the power of the printed word¿ and they feel a responsibility to treasure and protect it, no matter what. The two believe that literature has the ability to change lives for the better. Who would better know than these two?Rated at: 3.5
msf59 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The premise of this book hooked me right away: a father and daughter, making a pledge to read together, every night for a hundred nights. Once that was completed, they decide to continue to push on and amazingly, the ¿streak¿ lasts over 3000 nights. Wonderful, right? Yes and no.I respect their commitment, it is an astonishing feat, but this story is, more a memoir of growing up, with a single Dad, narrated by the daughter in a perfectly precocious manner. I am not knocking it for that reason but I was expecting more¿well book talk. Sure, books are mentioned but not in the passionate, detailed, geeky way, I was craving. Maybe, I¿m being selfish, who knows? You might have to judge for yourself. I am crazy about that cover though!
tammydotts on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Once upon a time, a little girl and her father wanted to know if they could read aloud for 100 nights in a row. When they reached that milestone, they decided to keep going. Eventually, when the little girl went to college, the nightly reading stopped after 3,218 nights.The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma uses those nights of reading as the frame for an episodic memoir that covers life in the Bronzina household from when Ozma is in the third grade to present day.Her father is a elementary school librarian, and his love of literature is evident the name he gave his younger daughter. Ozma begins each chapter with a quote from a book she and her father would have read around the time of the incident that anchors the chapter: The Giver for a chapter about the death and funeral of her beloved beta fish; Charlotte¿s Web for a chapter about watching spiders and summer storms on a porch; Dicey¿s Song for a chapter about the awkward father-daughter conversations about a growing daughter.A reading list at the end of the book details most of the books the two read during what the referred to as ¿the streak.¿ It¿s full of classic children¿s books that most readers have encountered at one point or another.The episodic nature of the book is, in part, the book¿s downfall. Ozma never spends enough time with pieces of her life that, in a different memoir, could serve as a centerpole. Her mother leaves the family, but it doesn¿t seem to affect Ozma and her father much other than the two of them trying to figure out what would make an acceptable Thanksgiving dinner. Her older sister pops in and out of the book but doesn¿t seem to be part of the family.At times, this isn¿t a problem. After all, Ozma is telling the story of her relationship with her father. At others, however, the episodes rush by before their importance in Ozma¿s life is clear. The Reading Promise is Ozma¿s first published work, and the pacing shows that. You want to stop her as she¿s writing and encourage her to put more words on paper, to spend more time with an episode. The scenes are probably vivid in her memory, and her writing is engaging so readers want to spend more time with the scenes. Unfortunately, Ozma is on to the next one far too quickly.One of the stronger points of the book is her writing style. In the beginning chapters, the voice is that of a younger child, capturing who Ozma was at the time. Sometimes, she can come across as precocious, one of the kids you only see in sitcoms, but by the end of the book, it¿s clear that Ozma was an intelligent child and, although some of the dialogue may be a fantasized version of how she spoke as a child, it fits with the picture of who the author is.Readers expecting a close discussion of children¿s literature and how it affected Ozma may be disappointed. The nightly reading is just a framework for stories about growing up. What does come through is her father¿s love of reading and the importance both he and Ozma place on reading to children and making a place for literature in the home.Ozma ends the book with a sudden, almost academic paragraph on the need for a commitment to reading in modern life. It feels out of place; after she had done a decent job in showing the need, she doesn¿t need to explain it.
knitwit2 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A very charming story of a girl and her dad. This story could have taken a turn at any point and become yet another tale of a dysfunctional family, but Ms. Ozma avoided that route (thankfully) and shared a part of her life that was filled with love. Her father's love for his daughter and his love of reading were woven together in such a moving way. I wish my children were still young enough for me to engage them in such a unique quest.
mthelibrarian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A Valentine to parent-child read-alouds and a memoir of "The Streak" in which a librarian single father read to his daughter for 3,218 consecutive nights. In the back of the book is a Reading Promise that families can incorporate into their own lives. Alice Ozma also includes a lengthy list of read-alouds over the years, though incomplete, since she and her father started out with a 100-night reading promise and did not keep a formal list of books. I still read aloud to my 13-year-old son, but not on a nightly basis because he has distanced himself from it. I wish we could have pulled off a similar streak. I am a big fan of Jim Trelease's "Read-Aloud Handbook" and hope that Ozma's memoir will inspire more parents to try to make it a part of their daily lives. I found myself wondering about Ozma's reading life away from The Streak and would have enjoyed more details about books she was inspired to read on her own during her childhood and adolescence.
bell7 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When Alice was young, her father read to her every day. One day - they can't agree on exactly when - they challenged each other to read for 100 straight days. They went on to create a daily ritual that they referred to as "The Streak," reading for far more than the initial 100 days they had originally planned.I had expected this memoir of reading to be more about "the books we shared," as part of the subtitle indicates. To be fair, Alice does include mentions of books read and how they related (or didn't) to her life. But there are also stories like the time she gave her beta fish a funeral and "The Boy-Haters Club of America" super-secret meetings. But at its heart, this is the story of the relationship she shares with her father as a result of the special times they spent together. Reading connected and connects father and daughter, a bond that shows in every vignette and every chapter.
asomers on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Being a school librarian, this book had an obvious appeal to me. Reading aloud is such an important part of instilling a love of reading in children. I was fascinated by The Streak and the commitment that it took both for Mr. Brozina and Alice Ozma. I remember my children begging for just one more chapter or one more page from The Lion , The Witch and The Wardrobe and I can understand the connection that they felt over the words on all those pages. I hope that her book helps others to realize how important reading is for our children.
AMQS on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. I love the premise: a single father and his young daughter make a promise that he will read to her for 100 consecutive nights. I read aloud to my girls, usually at the dinner table, almost every night. It is our favorite thing to do together, though we have not gone so far as to sign a contract. When Ozma and her dad reach this milestone, they extend it to 1000 nights and beyond. The Streak, as they call it, lasts until he takes her to college. They had to get creative about reading before midnight every night -- he comes to take her out of a community theatre rehearsal to read to her in the car before midnight, they have to plan ahead for prom, etc. The book, however, was less about the reading they shared, or even the bonds they forged, and was really a collection of stories from her childhood, usually highlighting how precious and precocious she was/is. The author, Alice Ozma (named by her father in honor of two beloved book characters) is only 22. She clearly has a bright future, and has been shaped by this commitment with her father, but her youth and her immaturity come through in her writing, and I found myself thinking this should have been a blog instead of a book, or a beloved collection of stories shared with the family.I ended up whipping through this book so that I could be done with it. Why this is my modus operandi when I am not liking a book rather than just setting it aside I¿m not sure. The only chapter that completely caught my attention was toward the end, when Ozma describes her father¿s decision to retire long before he¿s ready because of the unhappy changes made to his library and his role as school librarian. I am very familiar with this issue, of course, as I am currently pursuing a school library masters degree. School libraries are places where students learn to find and use information; where they learn to be responsible digital citizens, and where they have access to and learn to love books. The transformation of the school library has not been altogether smooth, and some schools have had a harder time than others finding, or even seeking a balance. In the library of Ms. Ozma¿s father, he was first restricted to reading aloud only 5-10 minutes per class, then his collection was placed in storage, and books re-ordered by the principal, including hundreds the library already owned. Then his homey, inviting décor was removed, and finally, the library was emptied of books. Appeals to the principal, higher-ups, the superintendent and the school board failed to restore any part of his program, even with mountains of research supporting books and reading and reading aloud. The message was clear: reading is irrelevant. At the close of the book, he was running for the school board, and good luck to him.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by [Ozma, Alice]Alice Ozma and her father decided to see if they could start a reading streak . When she was in fourth grade, her father said he wanted to challenge himself to see if he could read out loud to her for 100 straight nights. After the challenge was met they would have a celebration. Post challenge they decided to continue and they did until the day she began her journey in college. This book gave me such a warm feeling as this is what my husband and I did with our children when they were growing up. We even read some of the same books as Alice's father did. We also read the Oz books by L. Frank Baum, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and some of Shakespeare's play. Unlike the father, we did not continue with this as long but it did help to build unbreakable bonds as I am sure this did with Alice and her father. I was given this book by Grand Central in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful little book! Not particularly well written but I love the foundational premise of the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WriterlyWannaBe More than 1 year ago
A great read for anyone who cares about books, about children, about family, and the importance of it all!