Anyone whose parents shared a love of reading will have a hard time letting go of Alice Ozma's book. The Reading Promise is subtitled "My Father and the Books We Shared." It could have easily been subtitled, "How books got us through life." This is a touching book that will probably leave you a little angry when you finish. No, you won't be angry at the author or her father, just at the state of the world.
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.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.