On Wednesday, December 7, third grade students from Mary E. Griswold School participated in an online interview with Mr. Tom Angleberger, author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. For the past two months, students have eagerly read Mr. Angleberger’s books in preparation for this author visit. In addition, Mrs. Argazzi, the classroom teacher, and Mrs. Salina, the school librarian, discussed the books with the children and worked with the students to develop good questions for Mr. Angleberger. A SMARTboard in the library was used to display the video, as the Skype session occurred in two different states – Connecticut and Virginia.
The morning of the interview, the excitement of the students was evident, as they were dressed to impress, sat straight up in their chairs, and repeatedly practiced their questions written on their note cards to perfection. During the first 15 minutes of their online Skype interview session, students asked the author questions about his career, inspiration, writing habits, and personal life. Mr. Angleberger’s energy, sense of humor, and love for literature was contagious, as the class hung on his every word, and erupted in laughter throughout the Skype interview. Following this very entertaining question and answer series in which Mr. Angleberger turned the tables and not only answered but also asked the students questions about THEIR favorite books and referred to each student he addressed as “Larry”, author Tom Angleberger provided a hands-on demonstration of how to create the main character of his first book, Origami Yoda. Students were eager to join in on the fun, and followed the online demonstration, creating their own Origami Yoda finger puppets, which they proudly displayed afterwards.
As the interview concluded, students remarked how “cool it was to have met a REAL, LIVING author”, and they were especially pleased that Mr. Angleberger shared some “secret Information” about his next soon-to-be-released book in the Origami Yoda series.
Having a REAL author discuss the craft of writing and literature in an entertaining manner was an amazing experience which our children will never forget! The impact of Mr. Angleberger’s visit is still evident, as there remains a student check-out wait-list for the ten copies of his two books.