All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Tom Angleberger

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Angleberger grew up in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley as a self-described "nerdy kid." When he was six, he saw his first Star Wars movie (thrilling!) — that inspired a lifelong passion for the series and its characters.

Angleberger's books are goofy and funny but they also authentically speak to kids about the emotional ups and downs of middle school. He remembers his own struggles as the "weirdest kid in the class" and incorporates those memories into his stories.

Angleberger studied art at the College of William and Mary, and worked as a staff artist on the college newspaper. That's where he met his wife (and sometime collaborator), children's author and illustrator Cece Bell. For many years, Angleberger was a reporter and columnist at the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia. Now he's able to spend his time writing books and visiting schools — where he teaches kids how to make their own Origami Yoda!

Says Angleberger: "I'm not necessarily all that creative. I'm more of a puzzle putter together. I take all these little puzzle pieces — Yoda, middle school problems, Cheetos — and I fuss and fuss with them until I fit them together."

Angleberger and Bell currently live in Christianburg, Virginia right next to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Selected Books

from Tom Angleberger

Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book

Age Level: 9-12

When his nemesis makes an origami Darth Vader, chaos ensues. Dwight gets kicked out of school and sent to a school for bad broods! Humor abounds in this silly but satisfying saga that combines parody of popular figures with comedy.

Buy Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book

Fake Mustache

Age Level: 9-12

Things aren't always as they seem which propels Lenny Flem, Jr. into action. Join Lenny and Jody O'Rodeo as they thwart the dastardly plans of the hypnotic Fako Mustacho. Readers will recognize pop culture icons in this nefariously funny adventure.

Buy Fake Mustache

Horton Halfpott

Age Level: 9-12

Horton Halfpott is the underappreciated but rule-abiding kitchen boy for the Luggertucks of Smugwick Manor. Everything changes — literally and figuratively — when Lady Luggertuck's corset is loosened to unleash a series of farcical, laugh-out-loud adventures.

Buy Horton Halfpott

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book

Age Level: 9-12

With Dwight away, things are changing at McQuarrie Middle School especially when the Fortune Wookiee (what was once known as a "cootie catcher") appears on the scene to answer the girls' questions. This 3rd installment in the Origami Yoda series is sure to please.

Buy The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book


Age Level: 9-12

When Max—Maxine Zelaster—befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School’s new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school—the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving seventh grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes!

Buy Fuzzy

To Kick a Corpse: The Qwikpick Papers

Age Level: 9-12

Lyle Hertzog and his friends Marilla and Dave's third exploit just might be their most daring yet. Local legend has it that a slave master was buried standing up in the plantation’s family tomb. Why? So that he could continue overseeing his slaves—even in death! When the Qwikpickers hear about this, they decide it’s high time to administer some 200-year-overdue justice. Mission Kick a Corpse is on.

Buy To Kick a Corpse: The Qwikpick Papers

Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall!

Age Level: 9-12

After battling deadly space piranhas in Sector 7 of the Cosmos, Rocket and Groot crash-land on a planet made entirely of strip malls! Sounds like paradise, right? Wrong. It doesn't take long for Rocket to discover that the place is infested with raccoon-eating toilets! That's right. KILLER toilets! Badly injured from the piranha fight, the totally-butt-kicking-duo have no ship, no guns, no money, no food, no water but they have each other. Oh, and Veronica, the totally awesome super-intelligent tape dispenser! (She told us to say that).

Buy Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall!