Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We SharedThe Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so envious of The Streak. I wish my parents (or I) had thought of that when I was little--to read to me every single night until I went off to college. We were never as financially strapped as the Brozinas were, so I had opportunities Alice does not seem to have had, like going on youth group retreats and mission trips, which would have broken The Streak long before college began. Still, I wish we had tried.

The Reading Promise tells of an eccentric elementary school librarian and his equally quirky youngest daughter navigating the difficult world of single parenting with the help of a promise to read together each and every single day--no exceptions. The stability of their routine supports them through some incredibly trying times. Alice, now a recent college graduate, has a writing style which had me in turns laughing hysterically at the fish funeral, wishing desperately to comfort her pre-teen self, and ready to go to battle at her father's side over the removal of all books from the school library.

My mom, also a retired elementary school librarian & teacher, insisted I read this memoir before she returned it to the library, and I'm so thankful she did. This is a must-read for parents and grandparents (and step-parents). Reading to children enriches both the children and the adults on so many levels, the benefits are incalculable. Not to mention priceless and essential. And free!

For readers' advisors: character doorway is primary, story is secondary. No sex, violence, or bad language, so no excuses!

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