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 at CHOC, Part 2

Today, was CHOC’s annual trick-or-treating event for all kids who are inpatient on Halloween. ECBC delivered 225 Halloween bags filled with two books per patient (so, 450 books), with all books being high-quality Halloween-themed and curated by the age and gender of the recipient. Book bags are also being given to kids visiting the ER through the evening of Halloween — hopefully they add some literary cheer on a night that no kid wants to end up in the ER! These 450 books, along with the 357 delivered to CHOC Outpatient last week, amount to more than 800 Halloween books delivered to CHOC patients!

On this day eight years ago, Ethan’s (ECBC’s co-founder) port was surgically placed in his chest and he received his first dose of chemo, beginning his 3.5 years of treatment for Leukemia. On this day, he also dressed up in a Halloween costume with his siblings and trick-or-treated in the hospital lobby. So Halloween at CHOC has always held a special place in our heart, and being able to contribute halloween books to this event is a treat for ECBC as well. THANK YOU to all of our book donors who contributed to our Halloween book drive. A special shout out to Orange Chamber of Commerce, Fenny’s Flowers, Andersen Elementary School, and Brian and Carrie Bullard for your significant contributions! Thank you also to our $500 level BOOK IT donors who each funded approximately 50 books of this donation. All donors were recognized with their names on respective bookplates in each book. Happy Halloween!


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BOO-ks for Treats at CHOC, Part 1

Yesterday we delivered 357 Halloween books to the Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI) and the Oncology Clinic at CHOC Children’s Hospital. The books included everything from silly lift-the-flap pumpkin books for toddlers to beginning readers, picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books with fun Halloween-themed stories to joke books and creepy nonfiction/fact books for reluctant readers to anthologies of spooky stories and Halloween-themed horror for teens. As such, all toddlers, kids, and teens will get to select a new Halloween book when they visit OPI or clinic. In addition, yesterday and all month our volunteers on the inpatient side of the hospital are reading Halloween-themed books during their bedside reading sessions with Oncology and Neurology patients on the 5th floor. There’s so much terrific children’s Halloween literature, and it’s so fun to share it with CHOC kiddos in October!.

We are looking forward to our even larger Halloween book donation at the end of the week to the inpatient side of CHOC for their annual trick-or-treating event on October 31st. Until then, we are busy preparing 220 Halloween-themed book bags!


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Halloween Book Drive for CHOC Children’s Hospital!

It’s October, which means it’s time to turn to our Halloween book drive for our 6th annual BOO-ks for Treats event at CHOC Children’s Hospital. This is always a hard ask immediately after our BOOK IT fundraiser. However, this event has become a significant part of CHOC’s Halloween celebration, it is especially important to our founder Ethan, and the number of books that we need for it is quite hefty (approximately 600 new books). If you didn’t get a chance to donate to BOOK IT, please listen to Ethan’s video and consider purchasing a book or two from our Halloween-themed Amazon wish list. Especially since we only made it to halfway of our fundraising goal for BOOK IT, your help with this is even more important. Patients love getting high-quality Halloween themed books along with their usual candy and trinkets, so we absolutely LOVE being able to provide “literary candy” for the kids! All books purchased from this wish list will go directly to ECBC, and bookplates with donor names will go on every book. THANK YOU!

CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON WISH LIST LINK.


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THANK YOU BOOK IT 2022 SUPPORTERS!

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported ECBC’s BOOK IT 2022 Virtual Run and Book Drive by “running” 5, donating 5, creating a fundraising team, and/or sharing on social media. Together, 123 donors raised $25,000. While this is only half of our fundraising goal, we knew this goal was ambitious yet hopeful, reflecting the increased costs of our growing book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital. The BOOK IT donation site is still up and open for donations if you haven’t had a chance to contribute (runsignup.com/BOOKIT2022), though there will be no more explicit monetary pushes for BOOK IT until 2023. We will immediately be turning to outreach for our Halloween book drive (for which we need approximately 600 new books), and we are hopeful that a strong response in the form of direct book donations will minimize book purchases and thus the cash output towards our Halloween event. 

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, and Dr. Van Huynh (as well as ECBC Co-Founder Ethan)… We are so grateful for your personal efforts to rally others behind our cause. A tremendous thank you also to our top individual “$500 and above” donors: Tod and Sharon Paris, Keith and Katherine Dunleavy, Kevin Kodzis, CHOC Hyundai Cancer Institute, Sur West Homes, Shameeron Paur, Rob and Brooke Lieberman, Molly Cronin, Tootie Nienow, Erin and Jeff Denes, Susie Alexander, Tracy and Jeremy Stahl, the Antonius family, and an ongoing ECBC friend and advocate who wishes to remain anonymous but deserves mention being our very top donor (this year and every year prior!). Together, this mighty group was vital to the success of this campaign, having contributed more than 60% of the total funds raised. Finally, a special shout out to Jack Carlisle/The Potting Shed and Fenny Kokenge/Fenny’s Flowers as well as Dori Renn/Cirkel Fitness for hosting your own events in the community (Houseplants 101, DIY succulents, yoga class) to raise awareness and funds for BOOK IT! And of course, thank you to the ECBC Board of Directors for all their efforts and commitment to keep ECBC going.

Thank you everyone 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 and thrivership. 

Please stay connected with ECBC by following us on our website (ethanandchocosbookclub.com) or on Facebook/Instagram (@ethanandchocosbookclub). And save the date for BOOKIT 2023, hopefully in-person — Monday, September 4. 

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.

Click image above for donation site.


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LAST DAY OF BOOK IT!

Today is the last day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and it is also the final day of ECBC’s annual BOOK IT Fundraiser! We are just under 50% of our fundraising goal, so if anyone has intended to donate but hasn’t yet had the chance, PLEASE consider doing so now — it takes just a few minutes! Today we feature two of the many oncology kiddos who have benefited from our Read Think Thrive Bag program: Carter, who is no longer with us but his love of reading impacts ECBC through his amazing community’s CarterStrongForever book drives; and Blake, a current oncology warrior who is reading and thriving through a marathon of a battle with brain cancer. These bags (a mini library of ten new books curated by the age of the child + book crafting supplies) go to every child at CHOC infant/toddler through teen/young adult who is diagnosed with cancer, and the goal is to someday get these to all kids who are diagnosed with cancer throughout the U.S.– a hefty goal for our tiny nonprofit with a cost of approximately $150/bag. New cancer diagnoses at CHOC this year are the highest they have been in the history of the hospital — at 94 to date since January, we need additional funding to keep up!

If you haven’t yet donated and would like to help us continue to fund our Read Think Thrive Bag program for kids just diagnosed with cancer , we would so appreciate your support! Donate at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2022. We know first hand the benefits of books and reading through treatment and are passionate about making sure other patients have the same opportunities to thrive — but we need your help! Please share this post if you can!

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Two Days Left of BOOK IT!

There are two days left of ECBC’s annual BOOK IT fundraiser, and we are at just 40% of our fundraising goal. We are hoping for a strong finish in our final two days as we need to do significantly better to keep funding all of our book and reading programs and CHOC Children’s Hospital. Each day of these last few days, I have been sharing a photo of an Oncology kiddo at CHOC whom our programs have benefited. Today we have two featured warriors: Blake, holding one of the two Halloween-themed books he received from ECBC’s annual BOO-ks for Treats event at CHOC (where we donate approximately 600 new Halloween books for patients toddler through young adult); and Isabella, an oncology patient living at Miracle Manor (Miracles for Kids’ subsidized housing for CHOC families) who just received books from ECBC at the Miracle Manor Christmas party (ECBC provides holiday books for all kids living at Miracle Manor, picked out for each child by their personal interests). If you haven’t yet donated and would like to help us continue to fund our book gifting programs for oncology kids stuck in the hospital over the holidays , we would so appreciate your support! Donate at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2022. Even the smallest donations will help us to keep all of our programs going!

Click image above to donate.


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Final Four Days of BOOK IT!

There are just four days left of ECBC’s annual BOOK IT fundraiser, and we are just shy of 2/5 of our fundraising goal. We are hoping for a strong finish in these last few days as we need to do significantly better to keep funding all of our book and reading programs and CHOC Children’s Hospital. Each day of these last few days, I am sharing a photo of an Oncology kiddo at CHOC whom our programs have benefited. Here’s today’s featured warrior: a child on the inpatient side who is being read to by Mary Kay, one of ECBC’s amazing bedside readers/literacy coach experts who shares quality literature and reads aloud in a way that models and nurtures literacy skills and rich dialogue. Oncology patients are often not attending school and missing literature-based classroom experiences, and they also often receive chemo that affects their neurocognitive functioning — so this program aims to provide cognitive benefits in addition to social and emotional ones! Our bedside reading program depends on hardcover books for read alouds, paperback books that can be gifted, art supplies for book-inpspired crafting, and other support materials such as bookmarks, motivational reading bracelets, parent “how to support literacy through treatment” pamphlets and various operational costs including off-site storage of books. If you haven’t yet donated and would like to help us continue to fund our inpatient bedside reading program, we would so appreciate your support. Donate at www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2022.

Click image above to donate


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THANK YOU Hicks Canyon!

THANK YOU Hicks Canyon Elementary families for the 83 books that you purchased for ECBC at your book fair this past week! We appreciate your support so much, and we can’t wait to get all these great books to patients at CHOC Children’s Hospital! A special shout out to Tina Jussal for your making this happen despite such short notice!


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THANK YOU Baum Squad!

A HUGE thank you to Baum Ortho for this amazing donation of 160 new books! Baum families who donated, you did a terrific job at picking out highly popular titles and so much variety — we received books in every book type category! We are so very grateful for ECBC’s ongoing partnership with Baum Ortho. It makes a big difference for us to have these awesome books coming in regularly, which go right to oncology and other patients at CHOC Children’s Hospital!


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Outpatient Book Delivery Day!

Today was book re-stocking day at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center as well as at the Oncology Clinic. We delivered 295 new books so that patients can continue to pick out a great book at every outpatient visit. Thanks to all of our donors who allow us to continue to support oncology kids’ thrivership with books and reading! To help ECBC fund next month’s delivery, please join in on our BOOK IT annual fundraiser and participate in the Run 5 Donate 5 Nominate 5 Challenge — link to learn more and donate is www.runsignup.com/BOOKIT2022.