Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Which I Discuss the Awesomeness of the Internet, Book Reviews, and Tom Angleberger

Last week I read the book The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. If ever there was a book that would appeal to 6th grade boys, this is it: It's got 6 grade boys, Star Wars, a mysteriously accurate finger puppet sage, a sprinkling of sports and bad cafeteria behavior. It just so happens I have a 6th grade boy, so I asked him if he would read it. At first he said no. He even claimed to not like Star Wars, which was a flat out lie.

I begged, I negotiated, I asked him to read just 30 pages just so he could tell my why the book was so lame.

The reverse psychology worked. He read it. He loved it. I wrote this review at

A day or two later, the author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Tom Angleberger, sends me a message through Goodreads in response to my review:

I really appreciate that review and I'm so glad I won over your 6th-grader!
If you'll send a picture of him with his 8 origami Yodas (or just the Yodas if you prefer) to me at I'll post them on

Thanks again!

So I did.

Tom replied minutes later:

Awesome! It's up on the Website already!

Thanks a lot! And thanks again for that review, too!


When Ethan came home I showed him his picture on Tom Angleberger's website and he was thrilled (it's in the left column, towards the bottom).

This isn't the first time an actual author has responded to something I've written and I hope it's not the last.

Maybe I'm just an overgrown fangirl, but I love how the Internet allows these quick, personal connections to take place.

As for Ethan, his brief connection to Tom Angleberger this week has put stars in his eyes and inspired him to pay more attention to all those books mom has her nose in. Suddenly he's asking about what I'm reading, grabbing books out of my hands and flipping pages like he might be interested. If I could recommend one good book that got him a little attention from a real author, why not another?

(I'm remaining calm, no sudden movements, suppressing my impulse to shove a stack of my faves in his face. But I did point out that there were a bunch of great books on the bookshelf in his room. He said, "I have a bookshelf in my room?")


Natalie said...

Classic response! Thanks for the book suggestion. I'm going to my library website now to reserve it.

a said...

OH MY GOSH! You must still be hyperventilating from the excitement of MULTIPLE emails from the author AND a picture posting of your adorable Ethan! I'll be right over with the brown bag! Just keep breathing!

Emily Laing said...

Hahaha! He didn't know he had a book shelf. Christian just went crazy after reading the Percy Jackson series, and now he's a full fledged reader. He stays up until wee hours reading and has a list of books he wants to purchase...his next book? The Hunger Games....really?