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The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  6,096 ratings  ·  1,474 reviews
When Alice Ozma was in 4th grade, she and her father decided to see if he could read aloud to her for 100 consecutive nights. On the hundredth night, they shared pancakes to celebrate, but it soon became evident that neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual. So they decided to continue what they called "The Streak." Alice's father read aloud to her every night ...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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Christy Alice and her family hail from southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia.

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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  6,096 ratings  ·  1,474 reviews

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Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
I loved the concept but intensely disliked the book. I am amazed people thought it was well-written, because it felt like a little kid trying to write an adult book. I found the language stilted and conversations unrealistic. In spite of spending every night reading together, I never felt any warmth or affection between them.

There were some hints about a very troubled childhood, including a suicide attempt and abandonment by her mother. But, that is barely mentioned. In fact, the father is so c
May 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
This should have been a great book. A librarian dad and his daughter promise to read together every night and do so for nearly 9 years. The problem is these are two very odd people that I didn't enjoy spending time with. Dad oscillates between being clueless (he didn't notice that his wife left him on Thanksgiving because he was too busy raking leaves) and buddy-buddy with his daughter. (When he arrived home from his father's viewing at the funeral home, he complained to his eleven-year-old daug ...more
I loved the idea of this book and was excited to start reading this one. I love reading aloud and apart from the odd night when my daughter is on a sleepover or residential I read aloud every night for at least half an hour and have done since my son was born 18 years ago, so I was looking forward to hearing about this family's read aloud experience. There was actually very little about this element of the book, apart from snuggling up to her dad and listening I don't recall any description of w ...more
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs-bios
Here's an aphorism that needs to be debunked: Being a frequent reader does not make you a better person; all that this book proves is that being a frequent reader makes you more well-read. You will still suffer the same dysfunctions the non-reading public suffers, but maybe you can quote Dorothy Parker every once in a while for solace.
I'm on the bus with the need to read with and to your kids, and a lesson in endurance and loyalty to the cause goes down nice and easy. But author Ozma spent so m
May 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure: I didn't actually finish this book. I made it through 9 chapters (85 pages). Then I skimmed forward through the rest of the book and found more of the same, which caused me to close this book and accept defeat: I was done in by an excess amount of earnest precious- and precociousness.

The problem here is that the title and subtitle promise one thing but the book delivers something else. If you've seen other of my reviews of books about books, it's clear I love this genre. This bo
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. Some of the chapters were laugh-out-loud funny. A couple times, as I was reading while Ellie nursed, I looked down to find that she had stopped nursing and was laughing along with me! :)

As a lover of books and reading, this book hit [almost] all the right notes for me. Her last few chapters (after The Streak ended) were not as compelling. But other than that, a great book.

As a teacher, I read out loud to my students a few times a year. I usually read them "Pippi Longst
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-classics
I adored this book. It's as simple as that. When I taught Freshman Writing at a local university, one of the required assignments was a personal essay. This was, without fail, the hardest assignment of the semester and a challenge to teach. Alice Ozma, in my opinion, has perfected the art of the personal essay. Her tone is endearing, fun, and clear. I appreciated that I felt like this was just her normal writing--she wasn't putting on airs or trying to write something she isn't. This charming se ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Most of us will agree there's something magical about reading. It's why when a lot of us who are bibliophiles hear that reading is declining more and more each year, we are a bit saddened by this news. Many of us may wonder what we can do about it and how we can inspire the next generation to continue the love of reading we have.

Alice Ozma and her father James have one idea. When Alice was in the fourth grade, the two made a vow to read together each night for 100 days. After that success and ov
Well, two stars might be a little harsh, but I was just disappointed in how this book turned out. I LOVED the idea of it. A daughter writing about how her father read to her every night (without skipping any) from about age 9 until she left for college. I was excited because I'm one of those nerdy people who like reading "books about books", and since I have children of my own I feel very strongly about the importance of reading aloud to your children.

However, there was very little about the ac
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
a cute memoir by a young woman whose father read to her almost every night until she went away to college. when she was nine years old, they decided to try to make sure they read every day for 1000 days, which expanded to nine years. the author's father was a librarian in an elementary school, so he had a passion for children's literature & together, they read a mix of classics & newer books that he was screening for the library's collection. there are some funny stories about the lengths they w ...more
This is one of the most heartwarming books I've ever read. As the child of an alcoholic father, I always wondered what it would be like to have a great daddy. Alice Ozma shed a little light on that for me.

When she was in the 4th grade, Alice's dad decided to try to read to her for 100 nights in a row. Upon reaching that goal, both knew they didn't want the reading to stop, and so their "streak" (their words for the number of nights in a row) continued. Neither could have forseen how long the str
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love reading and it started in my childhood from my parent's sharing their love of books with me. I can't wait to read Ozma's story.
3/22/11: Read this book in one day. I LOVED it. (I'm a little prejudiced as I share her love of reading). I thoroughly enjoyed learning of the books she read and how they affected her life, but it was how she told her story that made the book so enjoyable. I loved reading her memories of childhood and of her relationship with her father whom she read with. It wa
Tammy Dotts
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was ok

Once upon a time, a little girl and her father wanted to know if they could read aloud for 100 nights in a row. When they reached that milestone, they decided to keep going. Eventually, when the little girl went to college, the nightly reading stopped after 3,218 nights.
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma uses those nights of reading as the frame for an episodic memoir that covers life in the Bronzina household from when Oz
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily by: Peter D. Sieruta
A memoir by a young woman whose claim to distinction is that her father read aloud to her, for a minimum of ten minutes, for 3,218 consecutive days.

The Reading Promise was a book I was politely interested in when I first heard of it, in the way one is when one is clearly the target audience for someone's literary efforts. I dutifully put it on my to-read list, and yet felt hardly any urge to rush out and track down a copy. Basically, I thought it would boil down to banal and obvious sentiments a
This book really touched me! It brought me back to when I was a kid and my father was the one who read to me all the time and took me to the library. Books were very important to him and he was often reading as many as 7 or 8 at a time. I got my love of reading and books from him and I couldn't be more grateful!

The Reading Promise is the story of a single father and his daughter who read together every night (or day, if that's how things happened to work out that day) from the time she was 9 ti
Paul Secor
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
There was promise here, but the author didn't have the writing skills to bring the promise to fruition, and I sensed she didn't have the willingness to be open enough about her family to make the book come alive.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it
The concept of "The Streak," and anything that promotes reading to kids is great. Reading to your own kids is surely a marvelous thing. I'm glad that Alice Ozma has been able to tell this story. She seems to have turned out pretty well despite her extremely messed up childhood.

However, no matter how many times she tells the reader what a great dad she had, I still don't believe her. I'm glad that she and her father found a way to connect through books. It's a shame he didn't have any other way o
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Cute concept, poorly written. It's a memoir. I was expecting an account of childhood stories/books, etc. The author's life isn't interesting enough for me to get invested. The most important event in her life is that she and her father were so devoted to their reading together, that their "reading promise" spanned years. Yes, I find that a huge accomplishment, to set out to reach a long term goal and meet it. However, do I feel it's enough to carry an entire book? Not so much.

I find the writing
Emily Rosenbaum
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From my book review blog:

My three-year-old, Lilah, promises me several times a day, “I’ll always be your baby.” I believe her. I’ve read Love You Forever; I know that when she’s 37 I’ll still be crawling across the floor to her at night.
My five-year-old, Benjamin, recently told me that, of course, I’d be able to take care of his kids when he grows up. After all, we’ll be living in the same house. I believe him, too; he will take pity on me in my dotage and bring me into his home. That kid walk
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Reading Promise" by Alice Ozma is the memoir of a very special activity shared by her and her father, Jim Brozina. Alice's father read to her every single night, without fail, for nine years. From the time Alice was in 4th grade until the day she left for college. They called it, " The Streak." In the memoir, Alice recounts the books they read, and the difficulties they encounter trying to keep the streak alive during nine years of reading. She also relates other difficult situations that c ...more
(3.5) Starting when she was nine and continuing until she left for college, Alice Ozma’s father read aloud to her every night. Even if it was just for 10 minutes, even if it had to be fit in over the phone or in the middle of a play rehearsal, they never missed a night. The Streak ultimately lasted over 3,000 consecutive days, keeping Alice and her father close even after her mother left them and her older sister set off for college. The chronological chapters zoom in a few months or half a year ...more
One of my favorite books this year. Alice Ozma and her dad, Jim Brozina decide that Jim will read to Alice (Kristen at this point, don't be confused- all becomes clear) each night-no matter what. This becomes The Streak and is unbroken for at least nine years. Proms, sleep-aways, Hell, and high water all notwithstanding.
That is a premise of the book, the joy is in the unmitigated love with which Alice relates the years of The Streak, selecting moments in time to share with us. Utterly charming,
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book!
Alice and her dad make a commitment to read together every night. The Streak runs for years until Alice goes to college. While initially I thought there would be more discussion on the books read, the basis of this book was the relationship between Alice and her dad and the incidental experiences during the streak.
Much of the story can illustrate the bond between a single parent and their child. It made the commitment completely understandable.
With Alice's dad wor
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. The author, Alice Ozma, wrote this book describing all of the nights she spent listening to her father read to her from books that they chose together.. everything from The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum to Charlottes' Web by E.B. White to the ever popular Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Ms. Ozma and her father started reading every night together when she was in 4th grade and their 'Streak' continued until the night before she left for college. Not only was ...more
Lanae Schaal
Jun 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I picked this book up at the airport to distract me during my four hour layover. It served that purpose quite well. The title of the book is misleading though not specious. The author clearly has an ardor for books and feels that they were a catalyst to the development of the strong bond that she and her father share. We are introduced to the books through opening chapter quotes that allude to the content of that section. However, the focus of the chapters is to retell some important transition ...more
Teagan E
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I have to agree with another reviewer's words, "I loved the concept but disliked the book." The beginning had me hooked and the end was touching and inspiring, but I struggled to keep reading through the middle. I'm not sure yet why, but I think it has something to do with liking the story but not liking the writing. There was this unshakable feeling that the author was exaggerating or elaborating but trying to pass it off as 100% nonfiction; I'm not usually a prude when it comes t blending fact ...more
Patrick McWilliams
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have often said that one of the greatest gifts my mother has ever given me is teaching me to read and encouraging a love of reading in me. Through reading, possibly more than any English or writing classes, I learned how to write. I learned how to speak. I learned how to slow down, how to stretch my mind. I learned how to learn.

We never had a reading "streak" like the author of this book had with her father, but some of my favorite childhood memories involve my mother reading aloud to my siste
Scottsdale Public Library
Alice Ozma writes a sweet, funny and endearing memoir of her father reading to her every day for over one thousand days. Alice describes both happy and difficult moments in her life attached to certain books read during "The Streak." The book will make you laugh when you read how Alice is frightened of JFK and absolutely frustrated as her school librarian father fights against his school's attempt to stop storytime. This is a must read for all bibliophiles, teachers and librarians. Above all, it ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since reading '84, Charing cross' last year I've been looking for more 'books about books'. I hit jackpot with this one. Absolutely loved the underlying themes of parental love, single parenting, a voracious love and a healthy appetite for books and all things literature. I did wish some places had slightly tighter editing but I could not but fall in love with the structure and the not-quite mature author writing.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great message glad to see that this book is touching many lives. We should all be so lucky as to have a school librarian, teacher, parentso committed to reading to children.
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