Book: The Reading Promise
Author: Alice Ozma
Recommend: Definitely! Especially if you are a reader, a parent or know a librarian.
I was wandering around my local bookstore, looking for somewhere to sit. Every single seat in the place seemed to be taken. I had three book in my hands already all of which promised to be great journeys into the imaginary. I walked over to the cafe, hoping there would be a table available, since my normal spots were taken and saw this book calling my name from the biography section. I am not normally a fan of non-fiction in any shape. Occasionally I will read one that I think is important but lately I’ve found myself picking up a fair share. I’m not sure what has prompted this decision but it’s been happening with increased frequency. I had promised myself fiction and instead sat down with this book that I just couldn’t seem to walk away from. I kept the other ones in my hands and hoped that I might get through two. No such luck. This book sucked me in so much that it took me twice as long to read it as it normally would. For me, the sign of a good book is one that makes me want to slow down and this one definitely did it.
When Alice’s older sister, Kathy turned ten she abruptly told her father that she was no longer interested in having him read to her anymore. It was too childish for her. As an elementary school librarian, it was crushing to a man who knew that reading to children was very important. When Alice turned ten they decided together (although neither can agree how exactly) to read every night for 100 nights. Through everything, they managed to accomplish it. Then, they decided to keep going and began calling it the streak. A childhood growing up through reading.
I connected thoroughly with this story in a way I haven’t since I met Dahl’s brilliant little Matilda one summer in middle school (don’t ask how it took me until middle school to discover that amazing book – I still don’t know to this day what took so long). Alice and her father have a quirky, adorable relationship that thrives even though physical contact is rare and emotions are hardly ever directly expressed. I even love the fact that she made her father promise not to read the book because she seems to be concerned that it would embarrass him.
I tried and tried to come up with a negative for this one and I just can’t! I absolutely loved it and will be adding it to my collection as soon as I can scrounge up the extra money to do so. I am also going to be encouraging every teacher I know who doesn’t let our school librarian read to the kids to read this book and do the research to find out what the facts are about the importance of reading to kids and how it directly impacts their future.
As the granddaughter of a librarian, an veracious reader and a teacher, let me encourage you to read to the children you know. You will help to instill a life long love of reading in children, create more intelligent kids and show them how much they matter to you 🙂