BOOK IT!® Reading Program Muscles Up With Diary of a Wimpy Kid BOOK IT! and Author Jeff Kinney Encourage Kids to "Read Your Heart Out™"

Registration Now Open for 2012-13 BOOK IT! Program

DALLAS, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BOOK IT!, the national reading incentive program sponsored by Pizza Hut®, announced today it has joined with author Jeff Kinney and his book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid to kick off registration for the 2012-13 school year. Fresh off a Nickelodeon 2012 Kids Choice Awards win for "Best Book," Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be integrated into all BOOK IT! classroom materials, teacher printables and web creative at bookitprogram.com. With this exciting integration comes a new BOOK IT! tagline: "Read Your Heart Out™," motivating children to make reading an important part of everyday life.

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"This new chapter brings two recognizable names together to advocate a love of reading for school-age children," said Shelley Morehead, BOOK IT! Program administrator. "We've revamped our BOOK IT! materials to feature Gregory Heffley, the loveable youngster who has made Diary of a Wimpy Kid a sensation. Jeff Kinney's amazing series has resonated with our BOOK IT! audience and we're looking forward to adding this new touch to our celebrated program."

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series draws in all types of readers, including reluctant ones, through Kinney's trademark novel in cartoons format. One of the most successful children's book series ever published, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have been on multiple national bestsellers lists since publication of the original volume in 2007. There are more than 75 million copies in print in over 40 countries around the world. Kinney's ability to bring excitement to a new generation of readers will propel new interest in the BOOK IT! Program – especially as fans wait for the Nov. 13, 2012, release of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 7.

"For 27 years the BOOK IT! Program has been promoting children's literacy and getting kids excited about reading," added Kinney. "I'm thrilled to have Greg Heffley and Diary of a Wimpy Kid as a part of the program and to encourage kids to discover magic between the pages of a book."

The popular reading incentive program launched by Pizza Hut in 1985 reaches more than 670,000 classrooms and 14 million children annually. Registration for the 2012-13 school year is now open and the program begins in October. Teachers and librarians set monthly goals and present students with a reading award certificate when goals are met.Students take the certificates to a Pizza Hut restaurant, where they are congratulated by a team member and given a free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza®. There is no purchase necessary and the pizza can be taken to go. 

The BOOK IT! Program is part of the "Share a Slice of Hope" movement at Pizza Hut. Share a Slice of Hope encourages consumers and Pizza Hut employees nationwide to help others through the company's three philanthropic pillars: children's literacy, world hunger relief and community involvement. 

About Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have sold more than 75 million copies in 41 countries in 39 languages around the world. Kinney was named to Time magazine's 100 most influential people list and his work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers onto books. The series is a fixture on the USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and The New York Times bestseller lists.  Books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers in schools around the globe. The seventh book is due out on Nov. 13, 2012.  The third film installment, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, releases in theaters on August 3, 2012. The Wimpy Kid giant helium balloon will make its third appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Nov. 22, 2012.

About BOOK IT!
In 1985, Pizza Hut established the BOOK IT! National Reading Incentive Program to motivate children to read more and help them develop a lifelong love of reading. BOOK IT! is a six-month program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. For more information, visit www.bookitprogram.com or keep up with BOOK IT! via its social media outlets @BOOKITprogram or Facebook.com/BOOKIT1985.

About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, America's Favorite Pizza, delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant. The only pizza company to be named a top ten franchise in 2012 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Pizza Hut began 50 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and today operates nearly 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries. Pizza Hut, Inc. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM). To check out what's new at Pizza Hut visit PizzaHut.com, or keep up with the brand via its social media channels at social.PizzaHut.com.

Media Contact
Luke DeRouen
214.727.3708
luke.derouen@zenogroup.com                    

SOURCE Pizza Hut



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