The Reading Promise: 3,218 Nights of Reading with My Father
When Alice was nine years old, she and her father - a beloved school librarian - made a promise to read aloud together for 100 consecutive nights. Upon reaching their goal, they celebrated over pancakes, but it was clear that neither wanted to let go of what had become their reading ritual. They decided to continue what became known as The Streak for as long as they possibly could. From L. Frank Baum to Dickens to J.K. Rowling to Shakespeare, Alice's father read to her every night without fail until the day she entered college, a remarkable eight years later. In this deeply affecting memoir, Alice tells the story of her relationship with the extraordinary man who raised her - from his steadying hand on the back of her wobbly bike to his one-man crusade to keep reading in schools - the words they shared and the spaces in between. Alice poignantly illustrates the unbreakable parent-child bond, the books they treasured, and the life lessons learned along the way.
'At a time when books often seem under attack, threatened with redundancy by the more aggresive advocates of new media, it is good to read so spirited and charming a paean in praise of the pleasures of reading as The Reading Promise.' -- Bookseller (UK), from 'We Love This Book' 'My favourite ... she writes beautifully of an unbreakable parent-child bond and the life lessons learnt from literature along the way... My Father's Day gift of the month.' -- The Bookseller 'Alice Ozma has given us the gift of a remarkable love story. In her love of books, and of her father, we see the most meaningful promises we might make to our own parents, our own children, and to ourselves.' -- Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture 'Tender, funny, and deeply readable, THE READING PROMISE tells the story of how a simple ritual became a treasured father-daughter tradition. Promise yourself to revisit what matters ... promise you'll pick up this tribute to the ways in which books change lives.' -- Erin Blakemore, author of The Heroine's Bookshelf 'A testament to the power of books and reading, especially reading together, the book details the comfort, excitement, terror and inspiration stories can provide. Part love letter to a devoted parent, part memoir of a sensitive, intelligent girl, part passionate plea for readers to preserve traditions of reading aloud and using libraries, this is a book to curl up with and sink into.' -- Who Weekly 20110627 'THE READING PROMISE is a powerful testament to the difference a parent's devotion and the act of reading can make in a child's life. A rare and triumphant story.' -- Chris Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness 20110627 'Clearly fabulous for libraries everywhere... My pick.' -- Library Journal 20110627 'This is about so much more than books and reading. It's about single-parenthood and childhood, about raising a loving, witty, articulate kid, and all of it accomplished without anyone turning into the Alpha-Parent/Tiger-Dad.' -- Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook 20110627 'Ozma's work is humorous, generous, and warmly felt, and with a terrific reading list included, there is no better argument for the benefits of reading to a child than this rich, imaginative work.' -- Publisher's Weekly 20110627 'Ozma has written a memoir as rich and revealing, witty and warm, confident and compassionate as works by people who may have been around a few more blocks, but who probably haven't read as many books. Persuasive and influential, poignant and inspirational, Ozma's exuberant paean to the joys and rewards of reading - and being read to - is a must-read treasure for parents, especially, and bibliophiles, certainly.' -- Booklist (starred review) 20110627 'this utterly charming memoir, which blends Ozma's reading experience with a perfectly phrased account of her upbringing and shows us just how much she learned. VERDICT: Sweet, engaging, and obviously inspiring (it even ends with a "Reading Promise"), this is the perfect book to hand any curmudgeon who needs reminding that reading makes a difference or thinks that today's youth are all blase. Highly recommended.' -- Library Journal (starred review) 20110627 'Alice's book serves as a rallying cry, advocating the importance of books and challenging the reader to make a reading promise of their own.' -- Marie Claire 20110627 'This charming memoir just might spark a revolution in communcal reading' -- San Diego Union Tribune, (Recommended Read) 20110627 'For anyone with a love of books and particularly those who love reading aloud, The Reading Promise is a must-read... And for those of you looking for a Father's Day gift for a book-loving dad, this might just be perfect.' -- Wired 20110627 'as a record of love between a father and daughter -- and a story about the importance of rituals in family life -- Ozma's debut is touching.' -- LA Times 20110627 'Among other things, this is a poignant, reflective, often frank record of a very difficult adolescence.' -- The Saturday Age 20110627 'Ozma has written a thoroughly entertaining book with skill, intelligence and a delightful sense of humor. The book is about reading... but its greatest strength lies in the author's affection for the father who kept his promise. He emerges from the story, with some poignancy, as a man whose idiosyncrasies are more than matched by his remarkable gift for parenthood.' -- Washington Post 20110627 'More than a novel about reading, it is an affecting portrait of the author's father. Ozma strikes the difficult balance of being incredibly poignant but not over-sentimental in her account of this unique man. This book is definitely worth a few nights' attention. And if you can get your father to read it to you - well, even better.' -- News of the World 20110627 'gleeful, generous memoir. Sometimes corny or comic, always compasisonate, it explores a parent-child relationship rooted in trust, storytelling and true love of reading.' -- Saga 20110627 'A captivating memoir of Alice's deep connection with her father.' -- Sainsbury Magazine Hot Summer Reads 20110627 'a coming-of-age memoir about the touching connection between a devoted but lonely single father and his precocious and "nerdy" daughter.' -- The Express 20110627 'an inspiring reminder of the difference that books can make.' -- We Love This Book 20110627
Alice Ozma was named for Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. She graduated from college and is finishing graduate school. She was accepted into the master's program for liberal arts at the University of Pennsylvania on the strength of her essay about Reading with My Father - The Streak.