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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A Productive Day at CHOC

Today ECBC trained a terrific new bedside reader volunteer (Karen Malone Ottoson — so happy to have you on board!); gave away a bunch of new books to toddlers through teens at our Super Book Give-Away alongside MaxLove’s Be Super Party in the CHOC lobby; delivered 125 new books to the Outpatient Infusion Center; conducted bedside reading in oncology and neurology patients’ rooms; and offered patients in isolation books to keep from our mobile Gifting Library Cart. A busy, great day at CHOC for ECBC!

PLEASE help ECBC keep this all this going for Orange County’s hospitalized kids and join us at our 2nd annual charity run — BOOK IT! Racing for Reading for Hospitalized Kids! Race is in 23 days — sign up now!!!

Click HERE to register, donate, and more!


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Ethan’s June Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of June — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan asks for three areas of books that he has already asked for earlier this year — graphic novels, board books, and Spanish language books — because our supply of all three of these is always so low. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking on these links to the wish lists on Amazon:

Click on image to view Ethan’s June Most Wanted Books Video

Thank you so much for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!


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ECBC Helps Celebrate Cancer Survivorship Day at CHOC

ECBC had a great time yesterday at CHOC’s Celebration of Life celebrating cancer survivorship on the oncology floor! ECBC featured the terrific picture book —After the Fall ( by Dan Santat), which tells the story of Humpty Dumpty AFTER his great fall—how he had to face his fear of heights and get back up again. Which pediatric cancer kiddos must do as well—get back up again and again while and after battling for their life. ECBC gave away copies of this book to kids of all ages (as well as other books from our gifting book cart), and kids painted their own Humpty Dumpty egg characters. Celebrating life and thrivership, and the power of books. 


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It has been a Full Year of Bedside Reading at CHOC Children’s!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of ECBC”s bedside reading and mobile book cart program at CHOC Children’s Hospital! Before we launched our inpatient program on May 24, 2018, it was rare to see a book or reading happening on a patient floor. Now, patients are regularly being read high-quality literature, and patients in isolation, who are not able to access available books in the hospital lobby, are able to choose books to keep from our mobile book cart. While the year 1 data have not yet been analyzed, our bedside reader volunteers report that, generally speaking, the patients are giving more “yes”s to reading than “no'”s, they are engaged during read-alouds, and they are asking volunteers to stay longer and read more. Which is so much better than we expected when we launched this program (especially knowing that reading can be a hard sell against technology). We can’t wait to formally analyze data from our first year and share the results!

A huge thank you to the most awesome bedside reading team I can imagine. We have an awesome group of current and former educators, librarians, school psychologists, and reading specialists — and they are a large reason why we are getting such a terrific response from the children! I’m so grateful for this team!

As we head into year 2, we will be working on growing this program so that we can offer reading aloud to patients on more hospital floors and more days of the week, with the ultimate goal to be able to offer every available patient a read aloud every day of the week (which is consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of at least 15 minutes a day of reading). We will be looking to recruit new volunteers, particularly those with prior experience in education/literacy — please email at Ali@ECbookclub.com if you are interested in learning more about becoming a bedside reader.


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An Awesome Girl Scout Silver Award Project…and Successful Mini Book Box Packaging Day!

A HUGE thank you to 7th graders Morgan, Sam, and Delaney for choosing to support ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive (RTT) Box program for their Girl Scout Silver Award project!

Theses three girls, who are part of Girl Scout Troop #2908, fundraised, book-raised, and contributed many hours to be able to fund and assemble fifteen RTT Boxes for middle school-aged kids at CHOC Children’s Hospital who are diagnosed with cancer (10 girl boxes, 5 boy boxes). 

In the months leading up to their packaging day, the girls worked super hard. They set up their own online book drive to collect needed titles for middle school boxes. They made a promotional video, shared it on social media, linked it to their own Amazon wish list of books, and collected and kept track of book titles that were sent to them. They also fundraised and raised $900 to go towards purchasing books as well as the art supplies that go in each box. In addition, they (1)  beautifully decorated eight sides and flaps of each of 15 boxes with ECBC-themed quotes and artwork; (2) completed Thrive Buddy responses by creatively responding to a book in each box to help motivate box recipients to participate in Ethan’s Read+Think+Thrive Challenge; and (3) designed and made their own reading-themed laminated bookmarks to add in each box as gifts specifically from them. 

This week, after months of hard work (and surpassing the Mini Box Packaging Day requirement of providing funds/materials for at least 10 boxes), the girls gathered to pack the15 boxes they funded. In two hours, they assembled and taped the boxes; added bookplates to books with donor names; wrote personalized “Care Cards” with notes to recipients and packaged the cards in baggies with two ECBC Book Bands; assembled packets of ECBC promotional materials; and packed all 15 boxes with the variety of items they collected and created. Reading lights were added as well — Thanks to Max Stahl for funding these as part of his 8th grade community service project! After the two hours were done, 15 beautifully decorated boxes filled with high-quality books and a variety of other reading-related treats were ready to go! THANK YOU Morgan, Sam, and Delaney for your initiative, creativity, hard work, and commitment to this project —- we appreciate your support so much!

Click HERE to check out Ethan’s 20 second time-lapse video of 2/3 of the 2 hour box packaging session!

Time-lapse video of some the girls’ packaging sessions!

We’re excited to now have a great supply of middle school boxes ready to go! We need an equal number of boxes for all other age groups (infant/toddler, preschool, early elementary, upper elementary, high school). If there’s a youth or philanthropic group out there who’s interested in working on a mini-packaging day for your group (minimum requirement is to fundraise and/or book-raise to cover 10 boxes — about $1000), please get in touch by emailing Ali@ECbookclub.com! 


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Girl Scout Troop #3115 Engages in Some Fantastic Awareness Raising for ECBC!

Last Sunday, Girl Scout Troop #3115 participated in the 2019 Girl Scout Day of Service at Foothill High School. With more than 600 Girl Scouts and 200 adults in attendance, the girls spent the afternoon sharing with others ECBC’s cause and ways they can help support. They focused on our book box program (“Read+Think+Thrive Boxes) for kids newly diagnosed with cancer, as they have been focused on helping ECBC build this specific program for over three years. Using terrific visuals that they made, the girls shared information about what a book box is; how other youth can become a “Thrive Buddy” by responding to a creative reading prompt that gets included in a box, and how ECBC’s “Book Band” reading incentive program works at the hospital. They also came up with the idea to package ECBC’s Book Bands for the book boxes into baggies with personalized “Care Cards” — and they made this an activity for other scouts to participate in while visiting their booth. Finally, they distributed flyers about two upcoming events — our second annual BOOK IT! on September 8th (click here to register) and Girl Scout Troop #3244’s Book Drive and Thrive Party on June 8th (click here to learn more and register).

We are so grateful to Troop #3115’s longstanding commitment to ECBC — these girls (and their troop leaders) have been truly awesome partners!


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Ethan’s April Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of April — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan’s asks for wordless picture books. Please check out his video and consider donating. Books can be purchased and sent directly to Ethan & Choco’s Book Club by clicking HERE to access the wish list on Amazon.

We also still REALLY NEED books for teens and young adults (March’s Most Wanted book type), board books (February’s Most Wanted book type), and Spanish language books (January’s Most Wanted book type). You can access these wish list by clicking on these links:
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Spanish Books
– ECBC Special Need Wish List: Board Books
— ECBC Special Need Wish List: Teen/Young Adult Books

*Please keep in mind that we will ALWAYS need hardcover and paperback books for our permanent Lending Library and our special situations (including patients in isolation) Gifting Libraries at CHOC. The link to our General Wish List for our hospital libraries is ECBC’s General Wish List.

Thank you for supporting ECBC’s book and reading programs for hospitalized kids!


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Thank you Anna!

A HUGE thank you to Anna Joelson for collecting all these amazing books as part of your 7th birthday celebration! So many great titles — from board books and beginning readers to picture books and chapter books — that will contribute to both our Gifting and Lending Libraries! Thank you for sharing some of your birthday love with ECBC. We appreciate your support so very much!


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Thank You to Two Tustin Elementary Schools

A huge thank you to Loma Vista Elementary School and Myford Elementary School for the your awesome book donations last week. Both schools conducted school-wide book drives alongside existing book purchasing programs. Organized by Loma Vista parent Beth Feher, Loma Vista conducted a book drive at their school’s Scholastic Book Fair and as part of their Read Across America celebrations. With the amazing help of first grader Jayden Salazar, Loma Vista collected and donated 260 new books to ECBC — returning our book donation box completely full! (not a small accomplishment –the box is huge!).

And, spearheaded by kindergarten teacher Danielle Clawson, Myford collected book donations via students’ Scholastic Book Club orders, where parents were given the opportunity to purchase additional books to donate to ECBC as part of their child’s book order. Thank you Danielle and Myford for the 80 books that you donated as a result of this book drive, and also for your ongoing support of ECBC through Scholastic Book Club orders.

School book drives are the largest source of ECBC’s gifting library. Since 100% of our gifting library books are given away (to kids in isolation at CHOC, at hospital book-give away events, in book boxes for new cancer diagnoses), ECBC depends on the support of local schools to sustain our gifting book programs. If your school is interested in collecting new books for ECBC, please contact us at ali@ECbookclub.com

THANK YOU LOMA VISTA ELEMENTARY AND MYFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!


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Triple Play Thursday!

ECBC had a fun and productive Thursday this week, getting books and reading to three different areas of CHOC! ECBC teamed up with MaxLove Project’s BeSuper Party for our monthly Super Book Give-Away in the hospital lobby, where we gave away books to patients and siblings of all ages. Next, we delivered books to the Outpatient Infusion Center, re-stocking their shelves with 150 new books. Finally, ECBC’s expert Bedside Readers read aloud to the Oncology and Neurology and patients on the 5th floor while also giving away books to patients in isolation using our mobile book cart. So fun to reach so many patients at CHOC today!