Saturday, June 25, 2011
The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma
Alice's father, Jim Brozina, wrote the forward to this book. His memories of the reading promise differ from his daughter's, and both of them give their account. What matters, though, is that the two of them read together every day from the time Alice was nine until the day she moved into her college dorm. And, they made a commitment. Alice's father would read to her for at least ten minutes every night. "The Streak," as they called it, started as a promise to read for 100 nights. They both agree that it was at the celebration of that accomplishment that they decided to make it 1000 nights. In reality, they read for 3,218 nights.
Alice Ozma's father spent 38 years as an elementary school librarian. His love of books and reading is something he shared with his youngest daughter, who name was actually Kristen Alice Ozma Brozina. He was the one who gave her the two middle names of Alice Ozma, naming her after two of his favorite literary characters. Although his oldest daughter asked him to stop reading to her in fourth grade, Alice loved the opportunity she had to spend time with her father. She loved the literary world they shared. That time together, and books, got her through the Thanksgiving her mother left them, the years of growing up with a single father who did his best, but didn't always understand girls. Those books brought Alice and her father close in a way living together never really did.
There's an old poem my mother paraphrased when she gave me a pillow with a picture of my father reading to me copied on the pillow. Both of my sisters have one as well. It says, "Richer than me you will never be. I had a father who read to me." The years and stories that Alice Ozma shared with her father are memories she treasures. So many readers have memories of someone in our life who shared that passion for stories. I can't wait to share this book, and the passion, with the other librarians in the system.
Alice Ozma blogs at http://aliceozma.wordpress.com
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma. Grand Central Publishing. ©2011. ISBN 9780446583770 (hardcover). 304p.
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