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.
Named for two literary characters ("Alice" from Lewis Carroll and "Ozma" from L. Frank Baum), the author is the daughter of a Philadelphia-area elementary school librarian. Father and daughter embarked on a streak of reading-out-loud sessions every night before bed as Ozma was growing up. At first they decided on 100 nights straight of reading before bed a minimum 10 minutes, before midnight, every night, no exceptions then it stretched to 1,000, and soon enough the author was headed to college and they had spent eight years straight reading before bedtime, from Oz stories to Shakespeare. Reading with her father offered a comforting continuity in the midst of her mother's disquieting move away from the family, her older sister's absence as a foreign exchange student, and the parsimoniousness of her single father. Ozma's account percolates chronologically through her adolescence, as father and daughter persevered in their streak of nightly reading despite occasional inconveniences such as coming home late, sleepovers (they read over the phone), and a rare case of the father's laryngitis. 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I decided to purchase a printed copy of that lovely book in respect to the promise I made after reading it. Very inspiring story. I didn't want it to end.