Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest Post: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Guest blogger today - my husband Jacob (resident Star Wars geek) on a middle grade chapter book that boys especially will love!

After watching my wife take part in the 48 Hour Book Challenge I have decided to do a guest blog and give you a review of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. This was a fun book that is appropriate for kids ages 7-8 up. We are introduced to Dwight, a sixth grader who marches to his own drum. The kids at his school tease him until one day Dwight shows up with an origami finger puppet named Yoda who has an uncanny knack for granting advice. Nearly all the kids in the school come to ask Origami Yoda questions. This leads one of his friends to collect the stories from his classmates and figure out if Yoda is real, a scam, or something more. It also helps the group realize it is OK to be different -- as long as the force is with you.

As a die hard Star Wars fan, it was great to see the original trilogy used creatively. Dwight could be analagous to a Luke Skywalker character looking "always toward the future". Those movies taught a whole generation to embrace their inner geek no matter what anyone else said. After all when the original trilogy came out, people were listening to Disco and wearing silk shirts. Everyone was different.

What I really loved about this book is that it took me back to being a sixth grader. Feeling angst at going to dances, and hanging out with my buddies, even if we were fighting. I believe that this should be read in schools to illustrate that differences are good. Afer all it was Steve Jobs who co-created Apple, not the kid who sat next to me in social studies. The chapters here can be read quickly and can stand alone, and their are doodles in the margins that will make even a cynic smile.

May the force be with you.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, published by Amulet Books
Ages 9-13
Source: Library
Sample: "It's just a fact. Dwight never seems to do anything right. Always in trouble. Always getting harrassed by other kids. Always picking his nose. Always finding a way to "ruin it for everyone," as teachers say. / If he would just listen to Origami Yoda's wisdom, like the rest of us, he would have it made."
Highly recommended

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