Chris's Reviews > The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
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's review
Nov 30, 2011

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bookshelves: boy-book, humor, realistic-fiction

Summary:
Ian Chipman (Booklist, May 1, 2010 (Vol. 106, No. 17))
Tommy and his friends think that Dwight is a weirdo who’s “always talking about robots or spiders or something.” In true Dwight fashion, he shows up at school one day brandishing a little origami Yoda finger puppet. The really weird thing is that it doles out very un-Dwight-like bits of wisdom, and the mystery is whether the Yoda is just Dwight talking in a funny voice or if it actually has mystical powers. The book is structured as a collection of stories gathered by Tommy and told by kids who either believe or don’t. See, Tommy has a more vested interest than just idle curiosity—he is dying to know if he can trust Yoda’s advice about asking the cute girl to dance with him at the PTA Fun Night. Origami Yoda—a sort of talking cootie catcher—is the kind of thing that can dominate all those free moments in school for a few weeks. Angleberger’s rendering of such a middle-grade cultural obsession is not only spot-on but also reveals a few resonant surprises hidden in the folds. Naturally, Yoda-making instructions are included. Grades 4-6

My Comments:
This is a very obvious copy of the Wimpy Kid books, but it works. The story is unusual and funny and the kids dialogue and actions are spot on. Although the characters are 6th graders, the book seems like it's written for the younger crowd. Maybe 6th graders would read it, but I don't think junior high kids would. It is written in journal/diary format using different type fonts, the pages are made to look crumpled. There are instructions to fold an origami yoda in the back of the book. Amusing. Might be good for book discussion group just because of making an origami yoda to go along with the book.
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