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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Today was supposed to be BOOK IT!, ECBC’s only annual fundraiser that has provided the majority of the funds and books for all of our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital! Due to Covid, we couldn’t have today’s race. But we are conducting a virtual book drive…because hospitalized kids still need books and reading! If you haven’t yet donated to BOOK IT, please consider doing so today!  Here are 4 reasons why you should donate:

  • To help ECBC be able to launch our covid-modified programs later this month
  • To help honor cancer warriors during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • To ensure that ECBC can resume its regular programs at CHOC as soon as it is safe to do so
  • To ensure that we can keep on going until BOOK IT 2021 next September!

We will continue the BOOK IT 2020  fundraising campaign through the month of September, alongside our daily effort to contribute to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by sharing each day a way that ECBC helps ECBC hospitalized kids to thrive. Here’s way #7, for September 7th:

Through its various programs, ECBC directly helps kids thrive through treatment — cognitively, socially, and emotionally. That’s what most of our “30 ways” highlight — the various specific ways. Another way that ECBC helps kids to thrive through treatment is by providing our local cancer warriors a cause to get behind that is about their own cognitive health and that they can control — which can be super empowering! Over the last couple of years, we have had kids in the midst of battle conduct their own book drives for ECBC, help their school run a book drive, raise funds for ECBC, and run in BOOK IT. We love this so much!

ECBC couldn’t do what we do without the support of our community, including our amazing cancer warriors. To contribute to our virtual book drive, go to Please consider donating at least the amount you would have paid for your family to run today ($40/person). Even better, use the same link to start a fundraising team for the remainder of September.

THANK YOU for helping ECBC to keep helping hospitalized kids to thrive through treatment with books and reading!

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #6 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Sept 6: The 6th way that bedside readers help hospitalized kids thrive through treatment, in addition to providing quality social interactions (see Sept 1 post), is by boosting children’s thinking and literacy skills. Reading is fundamental to cognitive health and thrivership for all kids, yet it is especially important for cancer warriors who are often missing significant school and literature-based instruction, have a type of cancer that directly impairs cognition, and/or are receiving types of treatment that have long-term cognitive impacts. ECBC’s expert bedside readers know how to model and scaffold good thinking while reading aloud, so that the reading session is not just a one-way interaction but a two-way dialogue with reader and listener together predicting, making text-based connections, and thinking deeply about the text.

To support ECBC’s bedside reading program, go to — donate $20 for one bedside reading book, or donate $600 for a full wagon of bedside reading books which are rotated monthly (30 books).

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #5 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Sept 5: The 5th way that ECBC helps kids thrive through treatment is by gifting Read Think Thrive (RTT) Bags not just to kids at CHOC when the are diagnosed with cancer (see Sept. 4th post), but also by gifting RTT Bags to kids outside of CHOC for whom a special bag request is made. For example, because ECBC receives a bag request from a family or friend for a recently diagnosed child at another hospital or because ECBC learns about a child relapsing and needing to undergo a transplant in which they will be stuck in the hospital for a long time. So, we’re spreading thrivership through the RTT Bags to some kids outside of CHOC, and hopefully with more funding we’ll be able to deliver book bags to more cancer warriors.

To fund a bag for a kid who as been diagnosed within the last three months and is not at CHOC, click here: To sponsor a full RTT Bag for a child when diagnosed with cancer, click here. #BOOKIT2020 #readthinkthrivebag #readthinkthrive #thriveagainstcancer #childhoodcancerawarenessmonth

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #4 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

The 4th way that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment is by providing kids at CHOC who are newly diagnosed with cancer a Read Think Thrive (RTT) Bag. The RTT Bag is a canvas tote bag filled with 10 high quality books curated by age and gender of the child, a “Read Think Thrive Challenge” with art supplies and blank literary-themed materials (i.e., blank books, blank comic books) to inspire recipients to respond creatively to the books, and various other ECBC/book themed items (e.g., bookmark, book light). The bag comes with a letter from Ethan that shares his experience with reading through his cancer treatment and encourages kids to make reading (and thinking/talking about books) part of their cancer journey. Ethan reminds the recipient that the tote bag that the supplies come in can be used in future hospital visits to always bring books with them to the hospital. The hope is that this Bag will help cancer warriors make books and reading part of their everyday tools that help them thrive through treatment.

To support ECBC’s Read Think Thrive Bag program, go to $30 funds the art supplies that come in the bag, and $125 sponsors one filled book bag with art supplies, books and other items. THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #3 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 3: One way ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment by…Providing Spanish-language books to patients as requested or needed — both through bedside reading as well as via the mobile gifting library cart. CHOC has a significant Spanish-speaking patient population, and ECBC is finding a demand for Spanish language books that is significantly greater than the collection of books we have. Please help us fill this gap!

To support ECBC’s supply of Spanish-language books for CHOC patients, go to — $20 provides a new hardcover Spanish-language book for bedside reading, and $50 provides five Spanish-language books for the mobile book cart! THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during this month!

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30 Ways ECBC Helps Cancer Warriors Thrive Through Treatment: Day #2 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment by…

September 2: Through ECBC’s mobile gifting library cart, ECBC’s volunteers gift books to CHOC patients who are in isolation and not able to leave their room to enjoy other areas of the hospital (i.e., the radio station, movie theatre room, Family Resource Center). The cart has high-quality books for all kids from infants through teens and young adults that range in topic and genre to meet kids’ varying interests and reading levels.

To support ECBC’s mobile library cart for patients in isolation, CLICK HERE — $10 provides a new gifting library book, $50 provides five new books for the cart, and $5000 re-stocks the entire cart!

THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during this month!

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It’s September! Please Support BOOK IT 2020 in Honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month!

Click on image to donate to BOOK IT!

If you haven’t yet supported ECBC’s BOOK IT 2020 Virtual Book Drive, please consider doing so now! ECBC was born out of Ethan’s experience at CHOC Children’s Hospital while battling Leukemia — where he noticed that books and reading were so grossly missing from patients’ lives at the hospital yet felt so deeply that they helped him to escape, connect, think, and thrive through treatment. Please help ECBC keep on going with its mission to bring books and reading to all hospitalized kids and especially oncology patients — we can’t do this without our community’s support!

While ECBC’s volunteer programs at CHOC have been on hold due to Covid, we are gearing up to launch Covid-modified programs that don’t require volunteers (with the awesome help of CHOC’s outpatient oncology nursing team). This includes delivering ECBC’s Read Think Thrive Book Bags to every cancer diagnosis (via the nurses, rather than our volunteers);establishing a mobile gifting library cart on the outpatient side to deliver a book to oncology patients whenever they visit OPI for an infusion or the oncology clinic; building a virtual book club for teen cancer warriors that includes giving them Kindles and monthly e-books; and gifting themed books to patients during the holidays (including Halloween, December holidays). To proceed with these plans, and also to sustain our regular programs once we are given the green light to bring our volunteers back, we desperately need to raise more funds!

The BOOK IT 2020 fundraising campaign was set to end Monday September 7th, which was the original date of the onsite BOOK IT 2020 run. Since we have raised only 1/3 of our goal and we are committed to our new covid-inspired plans with CHOC, we are extending the virtual campaign through the month of September. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, each day of September we will share one specific way that ECBC helps kids to thrive — in hopes that you will pick one way that resonates with you and help fund it! Please help if you can — ECBC needs it more than ever, and so do the kiddos stuck in the hospital (without the usual volunteers and diversions per covid rules!).

Here’s way #1 that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive through treatment:

Through our amazing inpatient bedside reading program, ECBC gets kids to put down their screen for 15-30 minutes in order to connect with a bedside reader who is 100% present, engaging , and eager to have a literature-inspired social interaction.

To support ECBC’s bedside reading program, please CLICK HERE — $20 provides a hardcover (easily cleanable) book for our Lending Library and bedside reading program.

THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during this month!

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PLEASE Help! Last 3 weeks of BOOK IT 2020 Book Drive

We are in the final three weeks of ECBC’s BOOK IT2020 Virtual Book Drive, and we have currently raised only about 25% of the funds that we need to keep providing books and reading to patients at CHOC. Although we are unable to host our annual charity run, our local hospitalized kids still need high-quality books and reading experiences. In fact, they need these more than ever, with the usual CHOC volunteers, visitors, and entertainment completely suspended for safety reasons. We are working hard to fund our programs that don’t depend on volunteers entering the hospital — including book bags for kids newly diagnosed with cancer, virtual book club sponsorships for oncology teens that include a Kindle and a year’s worth of monthly e-books, books for cancer patients to receive at each visit to the Outpatient Infusion Center, and books for special deliveries during the holidays (e.g., Halloween, Christmas). While most of our usual programming has happened through inpatient/child life, we are so excited to now be partnering with CHOC’s outpatient nursing and oncology clinic staff to make these deliveries happen in a safe manner. CHOC has asked ECBC to resume these programs in September to help support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month — so we really need help with funding to make this happen!

Please donate if you can by: (1) making a monetary contribution at or (2) using this same link to “become a fundraiser” with your own BOOK IT donation page. If you can’t donate, please help us spread the word by sharing this post!

Read Think Thrive Bag, for kids newly diagnosed with cancer


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Storytime with Ethan and Choco: Empty Pot

Here’s today’s storytime to be aired at CHOC Children’s Seacrest Studios and broadcasted in patient rooms! A terrific story with a great lesson about honesty and perseverance.

To help ECBC go beyond our no-cost radio show to providing terrific books for hospitalized kids during covid, please CLICK HERE to donate to ECBC’s virtual book drive. to donate to ECBC’s virtual book drive.

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Please support the BOOK IT 2020 Virtual Book Drive!

Due to safety concerns and potential Covid-19 restrictions, ECBC will not be hosting our on-site events this year (neither the runs or the onsite book drive). We are, however, conducting the virtual book drive component of BOOK IT, which has been a success in the past two years and we hope will get a strong response this year. As ECBC’s annual fundraiser and only formal fundraising event, BOOK IT! provides the majority of the needed funds to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital.  Please help us to help kids keep on thriving through treatment!

To support BOOK IT 2020, you can:

Click below to view or share Ethan’s BOOK IT 2020 video plug:

SAVE THE DATE! September 6, 2021. BOOK IT! will return next year with our onsite walk/run events, community book drive, and costume contest. Please mark your calendars!

Thank you for helping Orange County’s hospitalized kids thrive thrive through treatment!