Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Christi's Adventures: The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee Launch Party!

A while back I discovered that the amazing Tom Angleberger would be having a launch party for The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, the third book in the Origami Yoda series, on it's release day, right at my favorite (although too-far-away) Barnes & Noble in Princeton, NJ. Yay! It was scheduled for 2pm, so I had to take the day off of work (double yay!), AND I kept Best Girl home from camp (triple yay!), and Laura, the children's librarian at my branch was able to take the day off and come with us (quadruple yay!).

We left my house about 10:30am and stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch--yum! There's just something about that place, and it's a little more than halfway from home to Princeton so it's a logical place to stop for a bite. We arrived at the B&N about 1pm and there were only a few people seated already, so we purchased our books and got second row seats. I let Best Girl get all three Origami Yoda books and Fake Mustache, which she read earlier this summer and absolutely loved. And I was so excited to see that Tom dedicated Fortune Wookiee to Jay Asher--Jay mentioned at his book signing that he had inadvertantly given Tom the idea for this book, and Tom told us about it at BEA. It was just a really cool author-full-circle kind of thing.

Most awesome book display ever.

Tom came out right on time and got right into it. He was so energetic and engaged the audience right from the start. He had one of those giant pads of paper on an easel and started a game--he would start drawing a character from one of his books and the first person to guess it correctly would get to win the drawing. He also said that not to yell out Origami Yoda right away, because that wouldn't be the first character. So, natural wiseass that I am, as soon as he put marker to paper I yelled out "Origami Yoda!" LOL

He started drawing and people started guessing characters from the Origami Yoda books, but it was Best Girl who realized it was Casper from Fake Mustache--before Tom even drew the fake mustache! He was pretty impressed. He talked about the book a little, and then asked for suggestions on what the kids would do if everyone thought they were adults. Most of the answers were pretty reasonable, coming from children ("I'd drink coffee and watch TV all day!", "I'd drive a Lamborghini!") but one was...not ("I'd get drunk!"). That response was met with gasps from the moms, but Tom simply laughed it off and moved on. AND Best Girl got the drawing!

The drawing of Casper that Best Girl got to take home. Tom is displaying a fake mustache, similar to (although not nearly as awesome) as the one Casper wears in Fake Mustache.
He played this game for a character from each of his books and kept the audience engaged and laughing for a full half hour.

Drawing Dwight from Origami Yoda.
He gave out green paper and showed us how to make Emergency Yodas, then handed out paper to make our own Fortune Wookiees (which, if I'd ever posted a BEA recap, you would realize that I already had, because I'd seen Tom there).

Fortune Wookiee!
He gave out green paper and showed us how to make Emergency Yodas, then handed out paper to make our own Fortune Wookiees (which, if I'd ever posted a BEA recap, you would realize that I already had, because I'd seen Tom there). Then we lined up for pictures and signatures. Tom connected with every single kid there, asking about their favorite Star Wars character, or what they were into if they didn't really like Star Wars. Best Girl made sure to tell him that Fake Mustache was her favorite book. :)

So awesome, right???
After we got our books signed, Laura and I decided to grab copies of Horton Halfpott, the one Tom Angleberger book that Best Girl didn't like. She was so impressed with Tom talking about it that she decided to give it another shot. So we purchased them (unfortunately, only paperback copies were available) and got back in line. Tom was only too happy to sign more books!

We made a connection with the interim person-who-does-author-bookings, and we're super excited because she's really interested in getting more kids and teen authors to come to Princeton, so I will hopefully be making even more trips to Princeton! Their website says there will be an author panel on September 14 featuring DAVID. LEVITHAN. So you know I'll be there!!

Enjoy your reading!

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