Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Middle Grade Review: Origami Yoda
Title: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Author: Tom Angleberger
Publisher: Amulet Books, 2010. 141 pages
Middle school is a challenge, so when class loser Dwight starts talking to his origami Yoda finger puppet, the first reaction of the 6th grade is inevitably ridicule. But when Yoda starts dispensing good advice and saves one of his pals from total humiliation on the romance front, Tommy starts to think maybe there's something in it. So he assembles a casebook to try to collect and weigh all the evidence, and we can decide along with him whether Yoda really has the power of the Force or Dwight's talking through his hat. Or his finger.
This was an entertaining look into the heads of middle school boys (though with a comment like that, you might think it was horror instead of comedy!). It is short, with very short chapters, each written in a different voice, so it should work well for reluctant readers and those with short attention spans (parents, maybe?). The format is essentially episodic, with each chapter and independent story of one student's experience with Yoda, building to a final decision Tommy must make to follow Yoda's advice or not.
The book is not substantial and offers no brilliant insights, but I had fun reading it (and trying to make the Yoda, though my results were. . . sad). .
Take it or leave it. Not a must-read, but rather a book that can be enjoyed and might help a kid learn to like reading. But if you fold Yoda and he starts talking to you, I recommend taking a long step back!
Full Disclosure: I checked The Strange Case of Origami Yoda out of my library, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."