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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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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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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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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BOOK IT 2020 Final Countdown: 5 DAYS TO GO!

For today, September 26th, the 26th way that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive is by bringing December holiday themed books and reading to patients who are stuck in the hospital during the holiday season. For example, ECBC’s bedside readers have read patients fantastic holiday themed literature representing celebrations from various cultural and religious backgrounds. Also, ECBC has gifted high-quality holiday-themed literature for infants through teens who are (a) on patient floors through our mobile book cart; (b) attend MaxLove Project’s December holiday party in the hospital lobby; (c) receiving infusions at the Outpatient Infusion Center; (d) visiting the hospital’s Prayer Center; and (e) who live at Miracle Manor, Miracles for Kids’ subsidized housing for CHOC families. This amounts to a ton of books — approximately 500 (~$5000) — none of which are likely to come from school book fairs this year as they usually do. 

There are so many wonderful holiday stories written for kids of all ages, with terrific messages that are springboards for good discussion. It is really awesome to be able to gift these to patients especially when it is unlikely that most would otherwise get them.  To support BOOK IT and help fund ECBC’s December holiday needs, go to runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020. $20 will fund a new hardcover holiday-themed bedside reading book, $100 will provide ten holiday books for the gifting library, and $500 will contribute fifty holiday books to the mobile book cart, prayer center, or Outpatient Infusion Center. THANK YOU for supporting BOOK IT and helping to honor cancer warriors during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!


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BOOK IT 2020 Final Countdown: 6 DAYS TO GO! Day #25.

BOOK IT 2020 Final Countdown: 6 DAYS TO GO!

ECBC is now in the final week of the BOOK IT 2020 virtual book drive — our online effort to fundraise and bookraise since we couldn’t have our onsite charity run this year. We are currently 2/3 the way to our fundraising goal — Please help ECBC keep going until BOOK IT 2021— next September! Hospitalized kids need books now more than ever, and we’re about to re-start some of our programs at CHOC in covid-modified ways.

To wrap up BOOK IT 2020 as well as honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, each day of September I have been sharing a way that ECBC helps hospitalized kids to thrive with books and reading. For today, September 25th, the 25th way that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive is by delivering special gifts for special situations — such as special requests made by hospitalized kids for a particular book crafting item (i.e., a blank book or blank comic book); a special treatment milestone that ECBC learns about that merits a treat; or a special circumstance (i,e., such as a relapse or bone marrow transplant recovery) that deserves some literary cheer. It has truly been one of my greatest joys in running ECBC to be able to gift literacy-supporting items in these kinds of situations, and to be able to send love and support with more opportunities to read and create. Just check out the pic below of brain cancer warrior Trenton’s expression after receiving Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods Anthology after his recent port removal!

Please help!  If you haven’t yet supported BOOK IT 2020, please consider donating at a level that represents how you might have participated if we were in-person this year: cost of your registration to run ($40), cost of your family to run ($160 for family of four), online book drive donation (an additional $20 for a hardcover lending library book or $125 for a book bag for a new cancer diagnosis at CHOC).To donate, go to www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020. 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 #23 of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September 23. The twenty-third way that ECBC helps hospitalized kids thrive is by making sure that the literacy needs are met of the youngest patients. ECBC does this by making sure that our bedside reading program as well as all of our gifting programs/events provide the types of books that are most developmentally appropriate for the 0-3 year old age group. This includes sturdy board books with colorful pictures and fun sounds, rhyming, repetition, interactive features (flaps, touch/feel), and familiar objects/faces. High-quality board books with these characteristics are most likely to engage, invite participation, stimulate the senses, and facilitate bonding and positive attitudes about books. Like graphic novels, ECBC is always needing board books because they go super fast. Also, they tend to be in high demand at CHOC beyond just with infants/toddlers, particularly because patients who have developmental delays or neurocognitive challenges often prefer or need these types of books. 

To support BOOK IT and help fund board books for hospitalized kids at CHOC, go to www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020. $20 provides two board books, $100 ten board books, and $500 re-stocks a full shelf of board books on our mobile book cart. Or, to donate a book directly, go to ECBC’s Amazon Wish List by clicking HERE, and search the wish list for “board book”. All books purchased from this list will be sent directly to ECBC. THANK YOU for helping to honor cancer warriors and hospitalized kids during Childhood Cancer Awareness 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 www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020 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

THANK YOU FOR HELPING ECBC HELP HOSPITALIZED KIDS THRIVE WITH BOOKS AND READING!


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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. www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2020 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!