Ethan & Choco's Book Club

Striving to make access to books and reading a core part of the care that SuperKids receive in the hospital, with the principal premise that literacy support for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening conditions can help promote cognitive development and social connections that are part of thriving through treatment and beyond


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BOO-ks for Treats Delivered!

Today ECBC delivered 200 bags of Halloween “BOO-KS for Treats” (500 books) to CHOC Children’s Hospital for their reverse trick-or-treating event on Friday. We delivered another 100 books to CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion for our library cart, so that kids coming in for infusions will also receive Halloween books. We will miss participating in CHOC’s usual trick-or-treating event but we are so happy to be able to contribute to CHOC’s Halloween celebration this year. A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated Halloween-themed books, and a huge thank you to Behr Paint for conducting a corporate book drive and donating about 115 of the books. And, a special thank you to the Antonius Family, Bill and Royce Bellaty, Enderle Center, Fenny’s Flowers, Peter Royston, and the Stahl Family for your BOOK IT2020 donations that were allocated specifically to funding Halloween books — your donations were used to purchase the remainder of the books that we needed for this event (all book-plated with you names on them). Finally, thank you to our awesome Board members and Programs Committee Mary Kay Viscounty, Sandy Tweedt, and Anne Case for your help in coordinating the Behr book drive and assembling all supplies!


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Storytime with Ethan & Choco: Creepy Carrots

This week’s storytime being aired on CHOC Children’s Hospital radio — Creepy Carrots, a story that perfectly balances scary and funny with a satisfying twist ending, wonderful for Halloween and all year long! Click below to view Ethan’s read-aloud. To donate this awesome picture book or other Halloween-themed books for ECBC’s Halloween book deliveries as part of CHOC’s reverse trick-or-treating event, CLICK HERE.


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Today’s Outpatient Infusion Center delivery

ECBC’s new mobile COOL (CHOC Oncology Outpatient Library) Cart has been wheeled around to patients visiting CHOC OPI for infusions for about two weeks now, and today I had the pleasure of re-stocking the cart with a whole bunch of awesome kid lit, including about 50% Halloween books (ranging from board books to young adult horror and everything in between). I also replenished the supply of our book bags for kids who are diagnosed with cancer —too many kids are being diagnosed right now. And I got to fulfill an individual request for a specific book series—the patient didn’t want any of the 250 books on the cart, only Mercy Watson chapter books (she has good tastes, as this is a terrific easy chapter book series). Gifting high-quality books to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them truly brings me so much joy.


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Storytime with Ethan & Choco: The Widow’s Broom

This week’s storytime being aired on CHOC Children’s Hospital radio — The Widow’s Broom, a clever story that evoke’s pleasurable shudders for ALL ages, perfect for Halloween and all year long! Click below to view Ethan’s read-aloud. To donate this awesome picture book or other Halloween-themed books for ECBC’s Halloween book deliveries as part of CHOC’s reverse trick-or-treating event, CLICK HERE. We are hoping for 30 copies of this book for older kids at CHOC and need a total of 500 books for this event!

Click above for The Widow’s Broom storytime


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A Book Bag Recipient…and ECBC’s “Why”

We rarely get to see recipients’ reactions to receiving a Read Think Thrive Bag — so when we do it is super awesome! and special Here’s Blake receiving his bag, and Blake’s mom’s comments in her post about it (with permission to share). THIS is why we do what we do, this makes all the work worth it.


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Storytime with Ethan & Choco: Room on the Broom

Today’s storytime being aired on CHOC Children’s Hospital radio today — Room on the Broom, an all-time family favorite on Halloween and all year long! Ethan’s dad read the book aloud for old time’s sake to get Ethan in the mood for his recording…and I think they enjoyed it as much as they used to (see clip below)! Click below to view Ethan’s read-aloud. To donate this awesome picture book or other Halloween-themed books for ECBC’s Halloween book deliveries as part of CHOC’s reverse trick-or-treating event, CLICK HERE. We are hoping for 40 copies of this book and need a total of 500 books for this event!

Ethan’s Room on the Broom read-aloud
ECBC Co-founder Ethan’s dad reads aloud Room on the Broom — 11 and 13 year olds still find this book fun!


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Halloween Book Drive for CHOC Patients!

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is just around the corner, and ECBC needs your help with Halloween-themed book donations! Annually on Halloween, ECBC has joined in with CHOC Children’s Hospital’s trick-or-treating event by hosting a “BOO-ks for Treats” booth alongside the many other booths that give away candy, small toys, and other treats. This is a super special event for ECBC co-founder Ethan, who was diagnosed with Leukemia on October 28 (2014) and began his chemotherapy on October 31, while still getting to dress up and trick-or-treat in the hospital. In 2014, there were no books at this event, so Ethan is so proud to be able to provide a literary treat as part of the loot that patients receive on Halloween. 

This year, per Covid safety precautions, CHOC’s Halloween event will happen in “reverse trick-or-treating” style, with CHOC staff delivering goodies directly to each patient room. ECBC has agreed to provide Halloween book baggies to each patient, consisting of 2 age-appropriate Halloween books per bag. We also hope to deliver Halloween books to kids visiting the Outpatient Infusion Center for an infusion in the couple weeks leading up to Halloween. Which means ECBC needs 500-600 books! Please help by donating a book or two if you can! We especially need online book donations this year, as in the past years ECBC has received a few hundred of our Halloween books from school book drives and book fairs, which we are not getting this year. You can donate by clicking ON THIS LINK to our Halloween Wish List on Amazon:   All books purchased from this list will be sent directly to ECBC and bookplated with donor names. THANK YOU for helping ECBC help OC’s kids who are stuck at CHOC on Halloween to thrive with awesome literature!


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THANK YOU BOOK IT 2020 SUPPORTERS!

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported ECBC’s BOOK IT 2020 Virtual Book Drive by donating, creating a fundraising team, and/or sharing on social media! 124 donors raised $22,000+, which is just over 2/3 of our fundraising goal. While this is not quite enough to sustain our full programs once we are given the green light to do so, it is wonderful given that we could not have our annual in-person event this year (which has been responsible for 50% of our revenue in past years) — and it is enough for ECBC to get going now with our Covid-modified programs.

The BOOK IT donation site is still up and open for donations if you haven’t had a chance to contribute (runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020), though there will be no more explicit monetary donation pushes for BOOK IT until 2021. We still will, however, need to continue with outreach for book donations, especially since our programming is currently 100% book gifting and with a lack of our usual large school and philanthropic group book donations.*

I would like to extend a super special thank you to our top donors and fundraising teams. THANK YOU to our top fundraisers Mary Kay Viscounty, Susie Alexander, Team Portstreets, and Zack Adzich. We are so grateful for your personal efforts to rally others behind our cause. A tremendous thank you also to our top individual donors: Tod & Sharon Paris, Fidelity National Title Company, Bill and Royce Bellaty, Kevin Kodzis, Behr Paint, Fenny’s Flowers, Enderle Center, Peter Royston, Stahl Family, Antonius Family, Tweedt Family, and an ongoing ECBC friend and advocate who wishes to remain anonymous but deserves mention being our very top donor! Together, this mighty group was vital to the success of this campaign, having contributed more than half of the total funds raised. 

Thank you for supporting ECBC during this especially difficult time to be a super tiny nonprofit. Your donations allow ECBC to keep helping hospitalized kids to thrive through treatment with books and reading — which is a powerful contributor to cognitive health and thus general wellness. 

Please stay connected with ECBC by following us on our website (ethanandchocosbookclub.com) or on Facebook/Instagram (@ethanandchocosbookclub). And save the date for BOOKIT 2021, hopefully in-person — Monday, September 6. 

With deepest gratitude,

Ali, Ethan and the ECBC Team

* Please know that 100% of funds and books raised go to ECBC operating and program costs — ECBC has no employees and I take no salary.


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LAST DAY TO SUPPORT BOOK IT 2020!

If you haven’t yet supported ECBC’s Virtual Book Drive, please consider donating on this final day by going to runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020 and giving an amount equivalent to what you would have spent if you had participated in our in-person event ($40 for one registration, $160 for a family of four).  To donate a book directly from ECBC’s Amazon Wish list, CLICK HERE. Here’s why we need your help so badly, especially now:

  • To fund our Covid-modified programs, which are costlier than pre-Covid. These include Book Bags for all new cancer diagnoses (finally, every kid!); book deliveries using our new Cool Cart at the Outpatient Infusion Center for every child coming in for an infusion (~!50 per 1-2 weeks, compared to pre-Covid 100 books/month); a virtual book club for teen cancer patients including a Kindle and monthly e-books (brand new); upcoming Halloween book deliveries for all patients (room deliveries compared to pre-Covid when patients trick-or-treated at our booth). Whereas bedside reading was the backbone of ECBC’s programming pre-Covid and was relatively cheap to run, a shift to 100% gifting is significantly more costly. 
  • To sustain our other ongoing inpatient programs as soon as we are given the green light. 
  • To help offset the significant loss of incoming books. We have significantly fewer books coming in due to the lack of onsite book drives and book fairs happening in schools and by philanthropic groups, which in the past have provided the majority of our gifting books.
  • To keep us going until BOOK IT 2021, when we will hopefully be able to host our in-person charity run and book drive again!

We have raised just over 2/3 of our fundraising goal, which is awesome but not enough. Every donation makes a huge difference in our ability to keep on going with our mission to help hospitalized kids thrive with books and reading!

For the month of September, I have been sharing a specific way that ECBC helps kids thrive though treatment — as a way to complete our BOOK IT campaign and also as a way to honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. To conclude our “30 Ways”, Way #30 is that we hope that ECBC and Ethan’s story might be a model  (along with many other kid-driven efforts out there) for patient-driven innovation and change-making. For Ethan, “doing ECBC” gave Ethan purpose and helped to turn an incredibly difficult time into something positive  — it helped him to not just survive cancer but thrive through and after it. We hope that his story might inspire other hospitalized kids to find their own way, no matter how small, to step up/speak out/innovate/give back that is personal, meaningful, and contributes to their own thrivership through hardship!