Q&A with Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Author Partner, Tom Angleberger

What could be better than pizza and books? For us at First Book, not much!

Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! program will provide 10,000 books to classrooms for the 2019-2020 school year via First Book to encourage students to find joy in reading. We spoke with this year’s BOOK IT! author partner and a First Book favorite author, Tom Angleberger, about the Origami Yoda series and what is means to be a Pizza Hut author partner & literacy ambassador.

Q. How did the idea for Origami Yoda first come about?

Tom: Origami Yoda the book was inspired by Origami Yoda the finger puppet. It all came about very naturally, since I’m a long, long time fan of both Star Wars and origami. I saw a super complicated origami Yoda online. Way beyond my skill level. So I made my own simple version and … the Force was with me … because it just happened to fit on my finger like a finger puppet.

Q. Did any of your own middle school experiences influence why & how you wrote the series?

Tom: The Origami Yoda series is my attempt to re-write my own past. Middle School was a disaster for me. What if I had had Yoda’s wisdom to stop me from making a fool of myself every day for 3 years?

Q. Do you have any tips or can you suggest any activities to encourage creativity when you’re feeling STUCK?

Tom: Grab a piece of scrap paper and fold it a few times! Does it look like something? If not, recycle it. If yes… then tweak the folds, draw on it, bring it to life!

Q. What is a Pizza Hut author partner & what do they do?

Tom: I think my job is to be super excited about books. I was going to do that anyway!!!

Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! team is helping me share that excitement with kids all over the country!

Q. What does it mean to you to be the Pizza Hut author partner this year?

Tom: My first wave of readers have grown up! I’d love for a new generation of kids to start reading the books and folding Yodas!

Q. Why is it important that all kids have access to books?

Tom: Stories!!! The ability to tell stories, read stories and  share stories is one of the best parts of being human.

Take that away from a kid and you are literally stealing something from them. Likewise, giving a kid a book is so much more than handing over an object. The right book finding the right kid is priceless.

Click here to see our favorite stories written by Tom!

Click here to learn more about our partnership with Pizza Hut!