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Paperback – 15 Mar 2012
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'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)
'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)
'Clearly fabulous for libraries everywhere. . . . My pick.' (Library Journal)
'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)
'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)
'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))
The heart-warming, true story of a young woman, her single father, and the books they shared as he read to her every night of her childhood, from Harry Potter to Alice in Wonderland.See all Product description
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Not only did Alice and her father make it past the hundred nights, they easily outdid their thousand night reading streak. This is not only the story of 3,218 nights of reading together, it is a heart warming and enjoyable story of a young girl being brought up by a single parent. A father who put his daughters first and gave them the most important thing of all - his time. A wonderful book and I feel glad to have read it. Reading with your children helps their literacy and gives a love of books that will last a lifetime, so we should all make this commitment and enjoy reading together.
Inspiring because of the way that reading every night brought a single dad and a growing daughter together in a meaningful way. Also, because of the way in which literature ran through their lives together as a shared love and everyday experience.
It was refreshing because, although this was a story set around 'The Streak' the 100 day challenge that ended up lasting a lot lot longer, it was actually a lovely memoir of a childhood that was full of challenge as well as moments of joy.
I have three small children and we read to them every night. My eldest is six and beginning to develop a love for literature. The variety of the books tackled together in The Reading Promise has given me a lot of inspiration for our own adventures. There is an epic book list in the back that could be a springboard for your own 'streak'.
I also enjoyed where the book ended up too - with a story about reading being written out of school curricula and the fight to reclaim it... but I won't spoil it for you.
The Reading Promise is a lovely book and I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who loves reading with children or the idea of it at least.
`Once started, a reading streak can be a hard thing to stop.'
One hundred nights, became one thousand, and eventually grew to over three thousand nights, only stopping when Alice left home aged 18 to attend college.
Jim Brozina read to Alice every day for ten minutes (before midnight) each day during this period. Because `The Streak' grew out of the earlier and smaller reading commitment the need to record what was read was less important. `The Streak' was an important part of a father daughter relationship - the books were a vehicle, time together was the destination. I was a little disappointed: I would have liked to browse through a list of books read during the period: other people's lists of books always interest me. There is a partial list (of books they remember reading) at the end of the book - they include Lewis Carroll, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, J K Rowling, and the Oz Books by L. Frank Baum.
I became caught up in Alice's story: each chapter of the book is about a particular day in The Streak (Chapter Two: Day 38; Chapter Seventeen: Day 1,724; Chapter Twenty-Two: Day: 2,740). The book doesn't only focus on their reading; it also covers other events important in Alice's life: learning how to ride a bike, the day her mother left, an irrational fear about JFK's corpse, and the challenges of shopping for a prom dress.
At the very end of the book, Alice challenges the reader to make a reading promise: `I promise to be there for books, because I know they will always be there for me'. It's about reading - to yourself and, or, to others.
The author's full name is Kristen Alice Ozma Brozina. She is known as Alice Ozma, the names her father chose from literature. Somehow, that seems entirely appropriate.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
While I wish that more of this book would have been about the books that were read, it is really more a memoir of Alice's childhood and a tribute to reading aloud and its importance. Alice's father, Jim Brozina, writes a forward for his daughter full bits I flagged to read and re-read later.
I do read to my daughters each night, yet I will admit that I have skipped some nights because it is too late when we get home from something, or someone is sick, or (and this I feel bad about) we have had some behavior issues and taking bedtime reading away really hits 'em where it hurts. I have also not practiced my reading ahead of time which makes me feel like a slacker compared to Brozina who read ahead each night before reading aloud to Alice.
While this book is a memoir, I would also consider it a tribute to Jim Brozina and his dedication to his daughter. Sadly, Brozina retired before he was ready when the schools he served chose to believe that reading aloud to children was unimportant and unnecesary. Instead of igniting a passion in children for reading, Brozina was supposed to teach computers, and as this book was published, Brozina is now looking to being elected to the school board. To carry on his love of reading aloud, Brozina now visits the elderly in nursing homes and reads aloud to his captive audience.
At book's end there is a list of many of the books that were read aloud during The Streak. Ozma admits not having kept records of what was being read, so it is possible that some titles were inadvertantly omitted. I enjoyed looking through the list and getting a few ideas for my own nightly read alouds. While I need to update my list, I did start a notebook for my girls chronicling the books we read aloud together. My mother, when I told her this, didn't understand the significance of this, yet perhaps someday this list will lead to a memoir about how reading aloud impacted our family.
I loved this book, and even more than that, I loved Jim Brozina, Alice's dad, for his love of reading and his ability to instill this same passion in his own child.
I am a bit taken aback by other reviewers who have concocted a rather odd relation between the father and daughter, as opposed to the kind and loving relationship presented in the book. May I suggest some psychotherapy for you? Also, those reviewers who "skipped through the book" trying to find something that interested them says more about them. Perhaps they like abridged books. As someone who reads many books each year, my advice is to read an entire book, or you'll miss some wonderful gems, such as the story about "shaking sheep" found in this book (...oh...you people who "skipped through the book"...you missed that one?).
The bottom line is that this is a different kind of book, and its story is unique, which makes it compelling for me. May I suggest that you buy the book (or the audio) ... and read it ... all of it.
Alice Ozma's mother left when she was nine, so she and her father started the reading sessions as a way to reassure each other that there was something permanent in their world. In a series of short chapters Alice Ozma tells one tale after another of her life with her father, tales which are usually very funny and often touching as well. There's not that much about the books themselves, these stories are more about the pleasure the books gave a little girl and her father over the years.
The Reading Promise is also a heartfelt call for the restoration of reading in our increasingly high tech society. Alice Ozma's father was a children's librarian for many years, retiring only when he was directed by school officials to limit his oral reading sessions and focus more on computers. I'm sad to say that that section of The Reading Promise had an all too familiar ring to me, since I was a high school teacher for 29 years and had to deal with officials who wanted us to use computers more and read less and less as the years went by. The Reading Promise is a wonderful reminder of the worlds that open to us and to our children when we read to them, and of reading's importance to our emotional and intellectual development.