One of the Best Promises

readingpromisecoverSometimes you see a book and you just have a feeling you’re going to like it a lot. But the best moments are when you put that book down and you realize, out of nowhere, that this is now one of your favorite books.

One such book that recently gave me that experience was Alice Ozma’s The Reading Promise. My wife got it for me for my birthday because when I saw it at the store several years ago, I promised myself I’d read it if I ever had a daughter.

So as you know, Baby A. came into our lives earlier this year and I put it at the top of my birthday list (which is a good thing, too, because I recently found out Sarabeth just goes down the list from top to bottom – needless to say, I’ll be editing my Christmas list). I read it so fast Sarabeth asked if it was even worth buying anymore books for me. I assured her I will be revisiting this book many more times.

It’s the story of a father and daughter who make a promise to each other to read together for at least ten minutes everyday for 100 consecutive nights. At the end of 100 nights, that promise is extended to something longer, something bigger.

In essence, it’s the story of how her father’s dedication to her and his commitment to fill her life with books affects her in positive ways, and eventually shapes her into who she is.

I personally enjoyed this book on several different levels. First, I loved the author’s humor and quick wit. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh so much. I felt privileged to gain insight on a father/daughter relationship from the point of view of the daughter. How she admires him, loves him, relies on him, and looks up to him. This gave me an idea about how my daughter will view me in coming years.

Secondly, I loved how flawed her dad is. He isn’t George Banks/Steve Martin or some other perfect father-figure. In fact, I identified with him a lot: We both have hearing loss, we both are a tad bit cantankerous, we both like baseball, we both don’t like physical affection very much (read my post on hugs), and we both are sorely addicted to books.

He’s not a perfect dad and she’s not a perfect daughter. But together, they make their relationship work and withstand the trials of life together. This book shows that we can still get along with each other under trying circumstances and still make time to discover the hidden treasures in this world.

I’ve corresponded with the author via email and learned that a movie might be underway soon, which is fortunate, because if I still lived in Hollywood, I’d be knocking on the Hollywood sign until someone agreed to movie rights.

Every parent needs to read this book. Every kid needs to read it. Just… don’t read it in public if you’d prefer the world not to see you cry a few times. Yes, it’s that good.

Get it here – the perfect gift for your kid or parent!

And don’t forget my e-book, I Am the Lion, is available for your Kindle here, which happens to also be a story about a father and daughter.


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

24 Responses to One of the Best Promises

  1. George says:

    You’ve sold me without even reading the dust jacket or web site reviews. Picking it up this week. Thank you.

  2. lisellenoronha says:

    I’m gonna pick it up ASAP 😀

  3. Sam Rappaz says:

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. Sandymae says:

    Our daughter just released her second book in a Series – Skinny Me by Charlene Carr and Where There is Life (just released), and it is amazing how having an author in the family makes one want to read every book out there. Your book “I am the Lion” is next on my reading list and now I want to read “The Reading Promise” too. Thanks for sharing your review on this book.

    • Wonderful! Would love to read your review for these books on Amazon. Please feel free to share a link to your daughter’s books. Congrats to her!

      • Sandymae says:

        Thanks James. Charlene’s books are available via ebook on both the ca. and .com Amazon sites and a number of other sites, but only the .com site carries the paperback. Here is a link to her writing site: Because I live in Canada, any reviews I do are usually under the .ca site or goodreads. All the best to you and your family. I enjoyed your blogs.

  5. staciejordan says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’m always looking for that next great read. 🙂

  6. you’ve just made ‘the reading promise’ #1 on my reading list! the premise just sounds too lovely to walk away from…

  7. Reblogged this on dancing quill and commented:
    this is next on my reading list 🙂 what a lovely idea for a book!

  8. rachelekapp says:

    I’m going to read this, too. Nice! :o)

  9. hollie says:

    This is on my to-read list and has been for some time…I think I need to move it up! I haven’t avoided it in favor of other books, but my dad who died a few years ago helped me develop a love of books so I wasn’t sure I was ready to read something like this. But, I think I’m gonna have to! Thanks for sharing!

    • I understand what you mean when you say that a book hasn’t been avoided in favor of others. I run into this problem all the time. My reading list is always being rearranged. I’m sorry about your father. Hopefully this book will bring you more laughs than tears.

  10. Hope to find it in the Philippines. 🙂

  11. sebongile says:

    Thanks for following me. Hoping to learn a lot from you.

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