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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SPONSORS NEEDED FOR BOOK IT #2!

ECBC’s 2nd annual charity run is just 6 weeks away, and we are urgently needing a title sponsor at the $5000 level. Title sponsor receives event naming on the start/finish banner, large logo on t-shirt, website presence, and up to 10 runner registrations. PLEASE share this with family and friends who could be potential sponsors! We also are looking for corporate sponsors ($3500), book box sponsors ($500+) and in-kind sponsors that cover items such as bounce house, photo booth, etc ($250). CLICK HERE for the sponsor form, and CLICK HERE to see which sponsor levels are taken and still needed.

A HUGE thank you to those in our community who have committed to sponsor BOOK IT #2!! Paris Family Trust (T-shirt Sponsor), Behr Paint Company (Medal Sponsor), Enderle Center (Handprint Wall Sponsor), Rise Up Foundation (Costume Contest Sponsor), Voit Real Estate (two Book Box sponsorships), Cancer Clothing (In-Kind), and Erin Denes/Berkshire Hathaway (In-Kind). The success of our event and continuation of our reading programs for hospitalized kids are dependent on your support , so we are hugely grateful.

If you haven’t signed up yet, please CLICK HERE to register. We are currently behind last year’s numbers, yet we need to double them in order to sustain our book and reading programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital! Also, when you register (or if you can’t join us), please consider donating to our virtual book drive (using the same registration link) — which last year was able to provide enough book boxes and books to maintain 6-8 months of our programs. 1K/5k/10K, custom medals and t-shirts for all participants, division winner awards, book character costume contest with prizes, and option to purchase a pancake breakfast. Donate a book or book box online when you register, or bring a new book to the run on race day — and receive a free pancake breakfast!


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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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A Successful Afternoon at CHOC Getting Books and Reading to Patients!

While ECBC is at CHOC Children’s Hospital weekly reading and delivering books to oncology and neurology patients, our lobby book-give away events and Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI) deliveries happen on a monthly basis. So yesterday was our day of the month to do all three. First we delivered approximately 125 new books to the OPI, restocking their otherwise empty shelves; then we gave away books from our mobile Gifting Library Cart alongside MaxLove Project in the CHOC lobby, and finally we ended the afternoon by reading aloud to patients in their rooms on the 5th floor (and delivering books to patients in isolation). These days — where we do all three back-to-back– are always so rewarding as we are able to reach patients in multiple areas of the hospital. Yesterday’s highlight: Our Bedside Reader reported that a two-year-old patient wanted seven books to be read aloud, asking that everyone in the room sit down on the floor to listen! It’s so wonderful to hear these stories of reading aloud and good literature making an impact on children’s lives at CHOC!


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Thank you Troop #3244 for your amazing “Book Drive & Thrive Party”!

This week, Girl Scout Troop 3244 hosted an AWESOME support event to raise awareness and funds/supplies for ECBC’s Read+Think+Thrive Box program for kids who are diagnosed with cancer. This event, which the troop fully funded and organized, included:

  • A new book drive, with a children’s book off our book box wish list as the admission ticket
  • Stations to create items for our book boxes, such as bookmark decorating and box decorating
  • Stations that celebrate books and reading, including storytime, book inspired food crafting and treat, and a game station.
  • Guest speaker Ethan who was invited to share his story of founding ECBC
  • An ECBC patch for all Girl and Boy Scouts who attend

The girls also did a tremendous amount of preparation for their event, including formulating plans for the event and the activities at each station, making a book donation box, designing a flyer for advertising, making samples and signs decor for each station, distributing flyers to their community, designing and official patch for the event, various pre-event meetings to assign roles and cover all necessary. A tremendous group effort indeed!

The troop’s event resulted in the following donations:

  • 115+ new books from ECBC’s wish lists for our book boxes
  • $110 in donations for art supplies for the book boxes
  • 21 awesomely decorated book boxes
  • 35 laminated youth-made reading themed bookmarks
  • A girl scout/boy scout patch design for future scout events supporting ECBC, plus a donation of 50 patches to ECBC

What an absolutely terrific model this troop created for other girl scouts or philanthropic groups to use to support our book box program! THANK YOU to this terrific troop, and their amazing leader Jill Pang, for your hard work on this the las few months and for choosing ECBC for your Bronze Award project! We so appreciate you, and especially your creativity and inititiative in designing a new way to support our program — which helps our infant charity grow as an organization!

If your group is interested in hosting their own Book Drive & Thrive Party to support our Read+Think+Thrive Box program, please contact us at Ali@ECbookclub.com.


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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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Ethan’s May Most Wanted Books Video

Here is Ethan’s MOST WANTED BOOKS video for the month of May — which is a plea for book donations in an area of great need for ECBC. In this video, Ethan’s asks for poetry 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 wordless picture books (April’s Most Wanted book type), 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: Wordless Picture Books
— 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 to Foothill High School Ethan & Choco’s Club!

ECBC is so grateful for having received 22 new terrific books for teens for our gifting library program at CHOC from the Foothill Ehan & Choco Club! More importantly, thank you Taylor Kubaska and Aya McNamee for starting the club this year — this was our first high school club! Hopefully after you graduate, others will follow in your steps as co-presidents, as it is really awesome to receive support at the high school level and to receive book donations that target teens!

If there are other teens out there who are interested in supporting reading for hospitalized kids/teens and starting an Ethan & Choco’s Club at their high school, please email ECBC at Ali@ECbookclub.com.

Thank you Foothill Ethan & Choco Club for your awesome donation, and a huge thank you to Riley and Aya for taking the initiative to found this club!


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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!