Max Linhares DeCristoforo is an 11-year-old boy who could read at a very young age and for whom books have been a comfort throughout his childhood. A passionate reader, he rarely leaves the house without a book. So when his parents, Cindy and Lora, were trying to think of a Christmas present for Max who doesn’t long for much, aside from the typical interest in video games and who loves to visit the bookstore in their home town of Sacramento, Cindy thought about one of Max's favorite bookstores, Four-Eyed Frog Books.
The family has vacationed at The Sea Ranch for many years and the trips always included many visits to The Frog. Their visit last year was for Max’s birthday. He’d overcome some challenges during the year and his moms asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday. Disneyland? Six Flags? His wish was their command. And what Max wanted to do more than anything—more than Disneyland, even!—was to go back to Sea Ranch and go to the Four Eyed Frog bookstore. It was on this visit last year that the family learned that The Frog had become a community owned bookstore.
Rachel Turner, General Manager at the Frog, vividly remembers Max’s birthday visit to the bookstore. She shares, “Max immediately made an impression on me; this was a kid with a mission, and his mission was BOOKS! He made a beeline right for our kids section seconds after the store opened, and sat right down to peruse every book we had on the shelves. He knew exactly what kind of book he was looking for, asked great questions, and immediately struck me as this fun, shiny-bright lightbulb of a person who truly loved to read with all his heart.”
It was on Thanksgiving morning that Cindy had the idea of finding a way for Max to become one of the community shareholders at The Frog. Max and his moms have always felt an instant comfort and grounding at The Frog. So, the idea of having a piece of ownership in the community bookstore would fuel his passion for books, give him a sense of belonging, and make the best Christmas present ever.
Well, some would say there are no coincidences. Several hours later, while at a Thanksgiving gathering at a friend's house in Sacramento, Cindy shared her idea about The Frog with the hostess, who replied, “We just happen to have two of the Frog’s community owners here.” She then introduced Max and his moms to Ed Connolly and Karen Dotson who had just arrived from the Sea Ranch. In this serendipitous encounter, Max’s moms shared with Ed and Karen how much Max loves The Frog and how important books are to him. Touched by Max’s story and his moms’ Christmas gift idea, Ed and Karen offered to transfer some of their shares to the young avid book lover.
On December 19th at Four-Eyed Frog Books this magical holiday story comes true as Max become the Frog’s newest and youngest community shareholder!