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

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Another Fun Super Book Give-Away at CHOC Children’s Hospital!

We had so much fun at CHOC this afternoon with MaxLove Project and Donovan’s Smile! So many patients came down today — to choose an awesome backpack filled with supplies (Donovan’s Smile), to craft a pencil case (MaxLove Project…AND to select a book to keep!  We passed out about 85 books to patients and siblings, with gifted books ranging from board books for toddlers to longer chapter for middle schoolers and high schoolers. We also had children’s author @Alane Adams join us, who gave away signed copies of both her thief picture books as well as her Legends of Orkney chapter book series. A parent of a four-year-old whose son had just been diagnosed four days ago shared that they had no books in their room on the oncology floor — she seemed so genuinely grateful to receive a stack from ECBC to share with her son! We can’t wait for our next Super Book Give-Away at next month’s BeSuper party! 



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ECBC’s Super Book Give-Away Was a Success!

ECBC had a terrific afternoon yesterday at our FIRST Super Book Give-Away alongside MaxLove Project at CHOC Children’s Hospital! We gave away approximately 70 books to hospitalized kids and their siblings, with our youngest recipient being 22 months and our oldest being a 14-year old boy who said he was allergic to reading but then found a book about Alcatraz that he walked away with eagerly. A CHOC nurse walked by and commented, “It is so great to see books in our lobby, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that!” And a parent of an oncology patient snuck away with a pile of books and whispered to me, “I have to home school my child now, but I always forget to bring books to the hospital. It is just never on my radar.” Both of these remarks confirm why we’re so passionate about ECBC’s mission to bring books and reading to hospitalized kids! It was so fun to put books in kids’ hands, see them reading in the lobby, and watch them walk away excitedly with a new book about a topic of interest!

Because we’re still waiting to get through CHOC’s lengthy volunteer on-boarding process in order to start “Reading Aloud in Every Room” (our bedside reading program), we are working on other ways to get books into the hands of patients NOW! We plan to join MaxLove Project regularly for their monthly BeSuper parties at CHOC, and we are working on setting up other ways to bring reading to CHOC as well (ways that don’t require volunteer approval). To be able to gift books to kids at these events, we need the new books to keep coming in — so PLEASE keep donating if you can. Here’s the link to our Wish List on Amazon — books purchased from this list will be sent directly to ECBC. 

Thank you to Kids READ!, Saddleback Educational Publishing, and PBS SoCal for providing the books for this event!

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Troop #3152 is Holding a Book Drive at Once Upon a Storybook, Sunday 12:30-5:30

Thank you Girl Scout Troop #3152 for teaming up with Ethan & Choco’s Book Club for your Bronze Award project!!  This awesome troop is holding a book drive to benefit ECBC at Once Upon a Storybook this Sunday from 12:30-5:30. A portion of every book sale between these hours will go to ECBC if you mention Troop 3152 at checkout. Please come by to support the troop’s efforts, ECBC, and our wonderful local bookstore!!

Please re-post and share!


Click here to view the troop’s ECBC BookFair Flyer.

Click here to view the troop’s You Tube video.

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Ethan & Choco’s Book Club LAUNCH PARTY at CHOC Children’s Hospital

img_0368Ethan had so much fun launching Ethan & Choco’s Book Club at CHOC Children’s Hospital yesterday! We had “Real Author Read Aloud” for around 2 hours and gave away approximately 250 books! Thank you MaxLove Project for letting us join your amazing Be Super Holiday Party, and thank you to Child Life at CHOC for hosting
us! We’re so grateful for the ongoing support of Susie Alexander and Once Upon a Storybook, Barry Ackerman and KidsREAD, and Courtney Collins and Milk & Bookies. And, we were so fortunate to be able to provide storytime by five wonderful children’s authors: Alane Adams, Stacia Deutsch, Sheri Fink, C.W Greunig, and Dan Paley — thank you! Finally, thank you to Alanni’s Gift of Words Club for your donation of so many copies of such a beautiful picture book (Wookiwoo, I love you).  We loved seeing all the reading and so many books in the lobby at CHOC!


Author Dan Paley reading aloud his terrific Luigi and the Barefoot Races



We’re grateful for the support of Author Alane Adams ( Ethan loves her picture books as well as her wonderful chapter book series The Legends of Orkney)


Ethan & Choco!


Thank you Audra and MaxLove!


Ethan with Leukemia survivor Audrey, who just donated a bunch of great books!


Thank you C.W Greunig for sharing your books with the patients!


Thank you Mrs. Kelly for donating great books for our launch party!

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Ethan with his oncologist, Dr. Hyunh, who was happy to see so many books at CHOC!





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ECBC Book Drive at SOCO and The OC Mix

img_0213ECBC had an amazing day yesterday at SOCO and The OC Mix in Costa Mesa! We crafted books with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and the MaxLove Project. Girl Scout Troop 3115, who is working on their Bronze Medal with ECBC, sold beautiful handmade ornaments and beanies to help fund Ethan’s Read+Think+Thrive Boxes. And with the help of Susie and Once Upon a Storybook, we collected many books for our library collection at CHOC Hospital. It was such a beautiful day in the courtyard at SOCO filled with lots of giving and love! Thank you everyone who participated for  making this day a success. And thank you to our OC friends who came by — your support is always so appreciated!  img_0228img_0168img_0230img_0197img_0203img_0229img_0231 img_0235img_0186



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Taking advantage of Being Inpatient and Bringing a Bit of ECBC to CHOC!

img_1098Since we launched fundraising efforts for Ethan & Choco’s Book Club in December 2015, we’ve been working hard to raise money, collect books, build awareness and make connections in Orange County, and coordinate plans for starting up in the hospital. Our first official ECBC event at CHOC is a launching party planned for December 9th, where we plan to give away new books, have a few local authors read aloud, and engage patients in book-related crafting. Our hope is that shortly thereafter, at the start of 2017, we will begin implementation of phase 1 in the hospital, which is “Reading Aloud in Every Room” — where trained volunteers will visit patient rooms to read aloud and promote literacy skills, conversations, and good thinking. After getting this initial phase off the ground, we hope to move quickly to phase 2, which will involve mobile book carts visiting patient rooms and the start of a Lending Library at CHOC. We are excited to finally be approaching a start date at CHOC!

oct-20-ethans-first-radio-show-bEthan unfortunately had to be admitted at CHOC on Tuesday due to a fever and critically low blood counts (his absolute neutrophil count is 0, meaning he has no ability to fight infection). It is his first time being inpatient since before we launched ECBC, and being here reminds him just how much books and reading are needed at the hospital. As always, he sees patients on screens and on devices — but it’s nearly impossible to see anyone with a book! While visiting the hospital radio station on Thursday (his favorite place to when he’s here), Ethan turned to me and said,”Mom, can I just do something for ECBC now, since I’m at the hospital anyway?” What a great idea — why not take advantage of us being here and get some books into kids’ hands, even if informal and impromptu?! So we made a plan with the radio station manager for Ethan to host a show, cleared it with Child Life, and I rushed home to get a pile of new books from our Gifting Library. And at 4:00 on Thursday, Ethan went on air at the hospital (which goes into patient rooms)!!  He introduced himself and the mission of ECBC, read aloud two of his favorite books, and showed off book titles that he was giving away. About 15 kids ended up coming down to the station to choose books, and afterwards Ethan gave away another 15 books to oncology patients on the 5th floor. Ethan says “it was so awesome” to finally get to share his love of reading at CHOC, and he can’t wait to do more! Per the invitation of the radio station manager, it looks like a regular radio show hosted by Ethan is in the works!img_1093 img_1104




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ECBC at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival

092516-oc-book-festival-boothWe had such a great time at the Orange County Book Festival on Sunday! It was ECBC’s first time being at a public event (beyond our elementary school), and it was amazing to share what we are doing with other book-lovers and our broader Orange County community. We sold some merchandise and received some new book and cash donations, but more importantly we connected with a lot of people and spread awareness about our efforts to bring books to hospitalized kids! Ethan met numerous wonderful local authors who donated their own books, many of whom also expressed interest in being guest author readers at CHOC when we get things going there. Ethan had a blast presenting at the Storyteller’s Stage, where he shared his story and founding of ECBC with a captive audience of young readers and parents and then read aloud one of his favorite picture books. No shyness for this ambassador of reading — his only complaint was that he wanted a bigger stage and a bigger audience! And we were so excited to have a few girls from Girl Scout troop #3115 — who just joined forces with ECBC to help us collect books and other supplies for our new Read+Think+Thrive boxes (reading kits for kids battling cancer who can’t benefit from the hospital library because they are in isolation at CHOC or are at another hospital where they have limited access to books — more on this in another post!). Thank you, girls, for working so hard and collecting over 70 books for the reading kits! And, I think the best part of it all was watching Ethan sit front and center at the booth, proudly telling his story and sharing his cause to everyone who visited. I have no idea how he was able to do this tirelessly for 7 hours in the heat — a true sign of his tremendous commitment to this!


Ethan sharing his story with a Festival-goer!


Ethan was thrilled when CHOCO himself came by the booth!


Presenting on the Storyteller’s Stage

We thank Barry Ackerman (co-founder of the Book Festival) for helping get ECBC involved in this great event. And thank you also to Steve Murow for funding the booth space –we are so grateful for both of your support. Thank you also to Once Upon a Storybook for your ongoing support and collection of books for us through your fantastic customers. And of course thank you to our family and friends who came out in the heat to support us!!


Ethan with a few girls from Troop 3115


Ethan and Captain Tall Tale — how fun would it be to have him come read to kids at CHOC?!