Monday, September 29, 2014

Gone Reading!

Generally I write about books, but today I want to share about reading related items from a great site I recently learned about. The site is called Gone Reading, and it is a non profit run by Bradley Wirz. A few months ago, Bradley contacted me and asked if I would be willing to try some of the products he offers and share about them on my blog. I agreed and excitedly waited to see what would show up in my mail box!

The first item Bradley sent me was a beautiful Wilton cake pan that is in the shape of a book. I immediately knew that I wanted to make a book cake for my latest book, Return to Fern Valley. RFV just released this month, and I was planning on hosting a book birthday party at my local library. At first I was worried about how many boxes of cake mix I would need for such a large cake, but after I peeled the label out of the pan, I realized there were directions on the back. Three cake mixes and an hour later (oven time) I started decorating. I was pleased with the final results and I think my birthday guests were pleased as well.

The second item Brad sent was a card game called Once Upon A Time, and it turned out to be a card game with facts to test a person's literary knowledge of beloved children's classics. I was excited to guess the first question about Beatrice Potter correctly.

And the third item he sent was my daughter Emily's, favorite item. It was called Reading Rumpus and consisted of a passport like book for rating books, rating cards with stars, and book marks to mark spots that might be scary, funny, or gross. Since we started homeschooling this year, Emily has found this little book passport to be one of the best parts of her school week. After she reads a book, she loves to get out the stars, rate the book, circle descriptive words like inspiring, fascinating, or great, and tell who her favorite character was. I think any item that excites a child that much and makes her want to keep reading is worth purchasing whether you home school or not.

I also got to know a little more about Bradley and his non profit, and I really felt like I could connect with him and support his literary efforts. There was a time when Bradley had a job that sucked the life out of him, but one day he shucked it all and started his new adventure. He founded Gone Reading to specifically spread the joy of reading in developing nations by supporting several global charities. He is also very hands on, participating in events like building libraries in places like Honduras.

Bradley Wirtz of Gone Reading
Bradley and Honduran Children

So with Christmas just around the corner, I would just like to encourage you to check out Bradley's site and buy a few book related items of your own or to give as gifts for those readers you love. There are all sorts of fun items beside what I have shown here such as book holders, journals, and window decals of a family reading books. And there is quite a nice article in the Huffington Post about Bradley that you might also want to read.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, and my sequel, Return To Fern Valley! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.


  1. What fun products! (I wondered where you got the pan to make that awesome cake for your launch party! :D) I can't wait to check out Brad's site and see what other products he has to offer. I'm interested in learning more about his philanthropy projects, too.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving some comment love Miss Deb. Bradley is quite the interesting man!

  2. Wow, LOVE that cake pan ... and we darling daughter has a book signing coming up - that would be so cool. Your book cover looks amazing on the cake! Gone Reading sounds wonderful and what a sweet gift to receive from Bradley. Thanks for connecting on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I'm glad you did b/c I read this earlier in the week but my computer crashed and I lost my pinned pages - this was one of them to comment on and share. Thanks, Aileen. Have a super day.
    Cool Mom
    The Lady Who Works for a Kid and A Couple of Fictional Pets :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by Cool Mom. The cake pan was a great gift to receive. Give hugs to Stanley and Katrina for me :0)