The Reading Promise

The Reading Promise : 3,218 nights of reading with my father

3.66 (5,720 ratings by Goodreads)
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When Alice was nine years old, she and her father - a beloved school librarian - made a promise to read aloud together for 100 consecutive nights. Upon reaching their goal, they celebrated over pancakes, but it was clear that neither wanted to let go of what had become their reading ritual. They decided to continue what became known as The Streak for as long as they possibly could.

From L. Frank Baum to Dickens to J.K. Rowling to Shakespeare, Alice's father read to her every night without fail until the day she entered college, a remarkable eight years later. In this deeply affecting memoir, Alice tells the story of her relationship with the extraordinary man who raised her - from his steadying hand on the back of her wobbly bike to his one-man crusade to keep reading in schools - the words they shared and the spaces in between. Alice poignantly illustrates the unbreakable parent-child bond, the books they treasured, and the life lessons learned along the way.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 131 x 198 x 20mm | 210g
  • Two Roads
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • none
  • 1444715267
  • 9781444715262
  • 320,005

Review quote

'an inspiring reminder of the difference that books can make.' * We Love This Book * 'a coming-of-age memoir about the touching connection between a devoted but lonely single father and his precocious and "nerdy" daughter.' * The Express * 'A captivating memoir of Alice's deep connection with her father.' * Sainsbury Magazine Hot Summer Reads * 'gleeful, generous memoir. Sometimes corny or comic, always compasisonate, it explores a parent-child relationship rooted in trust, storytelling and true love of reading.' * Saga * 'More than a novel about reading, it is an affecting portrait of the author's father. Ozma strikes the difficult balance of being incredibly poignant but not over-sentimental in her account of this unique man. This book is definitely worth a few nights' attention. And if you can get your father to read it to you - well, even better.' * News of the World * Ozma has written a thoroughly entertaining book with skill, intelligence and a delightful sense of humor. The book is about reading... but its greatest strength lies in the author's affection for the father who kept his promise. He emerges from the story, with some poignancy, as a man whose idiosyncrasies are more than matched by his remarkable gift for parenthood. * Washington Post * 'Among other things, this is a poignant, reflective, often frank record of a very difficult adolescence.' * The Saturday Age * 'as a record of love between a father and daughter -- and a story about the importance of rituals in family life -- Ozma's debut is touching.' * LA Times * 'For anyone with a love of books and particularly those who love reading aloud, The Reading Promise is a must-read. . . . And for those of you looking for a Father's Day gift for a book-loving dad, this might just be perfect.' * Wired * 'This charming memoir just might spark a revolution in communcal reading' * San Diego Union Tribune, (Recommended Read) * 'Alice's book serves as a rallying cry, advocating the importance of books and challenging the reader to make a reading promise of their own.' * Marie Claire * 'this utterly charming memoir, which blends Ozma's reading experience with a perfectly phrased account of her upbringing and shows us just how much she learned. VERDICT: Sweet, engaging, and obviously inspiring (it even ends with a "Reading Promise"), this is the perfect book to hand any curmudgeon who needs reminding that reading makes a difference or thinks that today's youth are all blase. Highly recommended.' * Library Journal (starred review) * 'Ozma has written a memoir as rich and revealing, witty and warm, confident and compassionate as works by people who may have been around a few more blocks, but who probably haven't read as many books. Persuasive and influential, poignant and inspirational, Ozma's exuberant paean to the joys and rewards of reading - and being read to - is a must-read treasure for parents, especially, and bibliophiles, certainly.' * Booklist (starred review) * 'Ozma's work is humorous, generous, and warmly felt, and with a terrific reading list included, there is no better argument for the benefits of reading to a child than this rich, imaginative work.' * Publisher's Weekly * 'This is about so much more than books and reading. It's about single-parenthood and childhood, about raising a loving, witty, articulate kid, and all of it accomplished without anyone turning into the Alpha-Parent/Tiger-Dad.' * Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook * 'Clearly fabulous for libraries everywhere. . . . My pick.' * Library Journal * 'THE READING PROMISE is a powerful testament to the difference a parent's devotion and the act of reading can make in a child's life. A rare and triumphant story.' * Chris Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness * 'A testament to the power of books and reading, especially reading together, the book details the comfort, excitement, terror and inspiration stories can provide. Part love letter to a devoted parent, part memoir of a sensitive, intelligent girl, part passionate plea for readers to preserve traditions of reading aloud and using libraries, this is a book to curl up with and sink into.' * Who Weekly * 'Tender, funny, and deeply readable, THE READING PROMISE tells the story of how a simple ritual became a treasured father-daughter tradition. Promise yourself to revisit what matters . . . promise you'll pick up this tribute to the ways in which books change lives.' * Erin Blakemore, author of The Heroine's Bookshelf * 'Alice Ozma has given us the gift of a remarkable love story. In her love of books, and of her father, we see the most meaningful promises we might make to our own parents, our own children, and to ourselves.' * Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture * 'My favourite . . . she writes beautifully of an unbreakable parent-child bond and the life lessons learnt from literature along the way. . . . My Father's Day gift of the month.' * The Bookseller * 'At a time when books often seem under attack, threatened with redundancy by the more aggresive advocates of new media, it is good to read so spirited and charming a paean in praise of the pleasures of reading as The Reading Promise.' * Bookseller (UK), from 'We Love This Book' *
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About Alice Ozma

Alice Ozma, a Rowan University graduate, lives surrounded by world-class libraries and bookstores in historical Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about literature, education and working with children.

Follow her on Twitter at, like her on Facebook at and find out more about her and The Reading Promise at
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Rating details

5,720 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 23% (1,344)
4 35% (1,993)
3 29% (1,671)
2 10% (570)
1 2% (142)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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