The Reading Promise - Livin' the Good Life
Oct. 1st, 2012
04:03 pm - The Reading Promise
I just finished a wonderful, touching, thought-provoking book called The Reading Promise, by Alice Ozma. It's the author's true story of growing up with an extraordinary dad. Her mother left them when she was young, and her dad was the sole caretaker of her and her much older sister. Alice said very little about her mother, and though it was obvious that they kept in contact, the focus was on her relationship with her dad. Her dad was a children's librarian in a public school system on the East Coast, and he was a fanatic on the importance of reading to children. He and Alice made a goal of reading for 100 nights straight when she was 9 years old, and they reached that goal easily. So they made a new goal of reading for 1000 nights straight, and it had to be done before midnight, with no exceptions. This began an epic reading marathon that went more than 3000 nights. In fact, he read to her for the last time the day she left for college. This man was no angel. He had clear faults and sometimes I found myself cringing at the teasey and insensitive things he would say to her. But, the point was, he hung in there through all the ups and downs of childhood and puberty, trying to navigate the world of young girls with a man's somewhat callous consciousness. The book was full of hilarious stories. I also found myself bawling at certain points. One thing that touched me was how he had to "rehearse" before he read to her. He spent 15 or 20 minutes going over the material they were going to read, practicing the voices and, in some cases, deleting certain dialogues that he felt were inappropriate for his daughter to hear. By the time she was dating, he made sure they read before she left for her date.
I won't give away any more of the story, but I do want to recommend it highly. Please read it if you want to vicariously experience the essence of father-daughter love and loyalty.