Reading Promise : My Father and the Books We Shared
by Ozma, Alice; Brozina, Jim (FRW)

A series of vignettes describes how the author's father challenged himself to read aloud to her for 100 consecutive nights when she was in 4th grade and together they decided to continue "The Streak" until the day she left for college. 40,000 first printing.

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

*Starred Review* It started out as an ambitious, but achievable, task. A father would read to his nine-year-old daughter 100 nights in a row. Celebrating their victory over breakfast at their favorite greasy spoon, however, the daughter proposed a new challenge, one with a Scheherazadean twist. Why not read for 1,000 nights? But Jim Brozina and his daughter Alice didn't stop at 1,000, just like they didn't stop when Alice's mother ended the marriage, or when her older sister went abroad for a year, or when Jim caught the flu, or when Alice went to the prom. Only one thing could terminate their routine. When Jim moved Alice into her dorm room, some 3,218 nights later, The Streak, as they called it, came to an end. Not long out of college, 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. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Reading really was fundamental for a father and daughter team who made it their nightly ritual for eight straight years.

The author's name—an amalgam of characters from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and L. Frank Baum's Oz series—illustrates her profound passion for reading bookshelves of literature from childhood to well into adolescence. In 1997, plucky, headstrong Ozma and her father, an elementary-school librarian, began reading aloud to each other for 1,000 consecutive nights. Dubbed "The Streak," it began when the author was in third grade and lasted 3,218 nights. Ozma's father, a firm believer in the limitless power of books, was overjoyed (and pleasantly surprised) when they'd achieved their initial goal of 100 nights. But then Ozma determinedly upped the ante to 1,000 as their readings graduated from James and the Giant Peach to Shakespeare and Harry Potter. There were stringent "rules" to follow: They had to read for at least 10 minutes, before midnight, preferably in person, and books only—though "anything from magazines to baseball programs would do" in a pinch. Those days, Ozma fondly recalls, incorporated a playful and deeply unifying pastime shared with a man who became not only an interactive parent and friend, but a shoulder to lean on when inconvenience and calamity impeded their endeavors. But nothing could stop them—not the funeral in honor of her pet fish, nor her Dad's laryngitis, nor the painful, physical separation of her mother, who moved out, nor her older sister's absence as a foreign-exchange student. While all were painful memories that Ozma evokes with a hushed despondence, "The Streak" continued unabated until the author moved away to college, majoring in English, almost nine years later.   

A warm memoir and a gentle nudge to parents about the importance of books, quality time and reading to children.


Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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