2014 Alexander Award: Tom Angleberger

On January 22, 2012 Tom Angleberger wrote a post on Nerdy Book Club titles “The Alexander Award”. In his post Tom suggest that an award be created for a book series.

Tom writes:

The Alexander is given to a SERIES of worthy books. It is bestowed only when the last book of the series has been written.

It is named, of course, for Lloyd Alexander who wrote perhaps the greatest series of mid-grade fantasy ever concocted: The Prydain Chronicles. (Better know to me, at least, as the Taran books.)

You can read more about his post by clicking on the Nerd logo (that Tom designed) below:

 

I feel that it is fitting that this, the year that Tom has completed his unforgettable Origami Yoda series, that I award him the 2014 Alexander Award.

I could go on and on for a few hundred words about why Tom is deserving of this award, but I’ll keep it short and sweet.

In my opinion the Origami Yoda series is one of the greatest gifts children’s literature has received in the last half century. Yup. 50 freakin’ years. Tom has created a series that me and all my buddies would have been smitten over when we were kids. We needed a series like this. Kids today are so lucky to be able to read about Tommy, Dwight, and the rest of the gang.

I’ve seen so many students find their way into reading starting in the back of an Origami Yoda book folding paper. They spend a few days folding paper, and then BAM! they are 75 pages into The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.

The paper folded in my classroom and the pages read because of Tom’s books is a gift more precious to me than anything I will ever find under a tree.

Another reason why I believe Mr. Angleberger needs to be recognized is his love for his readers. Tom has changed the way writers interact with their fans. He Skypes. He Tweets. He Instagrams(?). If you haven’t checked out the interaction he has on his website with his Super Folders you are really missing out. Tom fits 36 hours worth of work into each 24 hour day.

Thank you Mr. Angleberger for your contribution to children’s literature. I have read, and will continue to read, everything that you write. You make us all better educators.

You, sir have earned the Alexander Award.

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6 thoughts on “2014 Alexander Award: Tom Angleberger

  1. Wednesday was an unusual day for Xena and me so here I am reading this post at 12:50 on Thursday morning, trying not to get choked up. I could not agree more with this post. Not only do series make readers but they make them life long readers. They change the way we see the world. We grow as the characters in the books grow. I’ll end this day with a big smile on my face.

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  2. I will just add that these books with all their humor and zaniness have an extraordinary series of messages that kids don’t even realize are there: Tolerance for kids with differences, a pretty severe critique of the American School system, (i love that he doesn’t let private schools off the hook) and he even touches on gender assignment issues in the second to last book. This is REAL transgressive stuff, challenging how the school system works, challenging kids to see that people we set up as villains (Rabbski) can be themselves victims of the system and actually turn out to be on our side. As must be evident by now, I wholeheartedly agree that this is by far the most important series of middle grade books out there. I would have to throw in “Ook And Glook” by the master Dav Pilkey as the only other example I know of that combines actual eastern philosophy and a message of eco-awareness with a dinosaur throwing up in a bad guys mouth. The first time my son and I got to this part, he laughed for two minutes straight. I am not exaggerating. That is a LONG TIME to stare at a picture and keep laughing hysterically. You go, Tom Angleberger, and Dav Pilkey too.

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  3. Something else to add … Boy is Fake Mustache just an amazing book. It was a Sunshine State Reader here in Florida last year, which means it automatically got in the hands of lots of kiddos. And I never heard anything but praise out of their mouths.

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