Darth Paper Strikes Back: Origami Yoda, Book 2

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Darth Paper Strikes Back: Origami Yoda, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Funny, oddball story about sticking up for a friend.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Oragami Yoda books give elementary school-aged kids a humorous but revealing view of middle school rules and culture. Darth Paper Strikes Back also provides a funny little economics lesson related to school fundraising.

Positive Messages

Dwight and his oracle, the Origami Yoda, show the middle schoolers that wisdom can come from surprising sources. Darth Paper Strikes Back also shows the value of standing up for our friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As in the first book, Tommy sets a great example for young boys -- he's a loyal friend who goes the extra mile to keep Dwight in school.

Violence

Dwight's accused of violent behavior, but there's none in the book and he seems to be innocent of this charge.

Sex

The middle schoolers have crushes on members of the opposite sex, but there's no physical contact.

Language

Tommy tells Harvey to "shove it" a couple of times.

Consumerism

All theOragmai Yoda books are full of Star Wars movie references and imagery. This one also mentions The Clone Wars: Strike Team video game, as well as a few other brand names: Mountain Dew, Wendy's, and Diabolo yo-yos.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Darth Paper Strikes Back is the second of Tom Angleberger's Origami Yoda books. The series focuses on the social and academic challenges of some slightly oddball middle schoolers, and their debate as to whether a boy's paper finger puppet, the Origami Yoda, really possesses the powers of an oracle to channel the Force, dispense advice, and predict the future. The students often question authority and break rules, as middle schoolers will do, and in this installment a student is "referred" from his public school into a remedial program for problem students. As the title suggests, there's loads of Star Wars imagery; some kids play The Clone Wars: Strike Team video game in their school library.

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What's the story?

In the second book of Tom Angleberger's Origami Yoda series, DARTH PAPER STRIKES BACK, Tommy and his friends are upset when Principal Rabbski wants to transfer Dwight -- the boy who brought them Origami Yoda -- from their school to CREF, a remedial program for problem students. As they often do, the kids bring their problem to Origami Yoda, who advises them to put together a case file that demonstrates to the school board that Dwight deserves to stay at McQuarrie Middle School. Tommy enlists several friends to help, and much of the novel consists of the clever stories they write down, relating ways Dwight and Origami Yoda have helped other students. However, their classmate Harvey -- who has made his own finger puppet, Darth Paper -- scoffs at Origami Yoda and works against the movement to save Dwight. It's the Force vs. the Dark Side, with a gang of well-meaning friends caught up in the battle.

Is it any good?

Darth Paper lacks some of the character development of the first Oragami Yoda book, but it does have a cleverly told, big-hearted story and loads of funny moments. Any kids (and parents) who've been sold a bill of goods about school fundraising will find the story about selling "nothing" hilarious. Like Book 1, this novel will especially appeal to Star Wars fans, though readers don't have to be fanatics to enjoy the series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how video games are banned from the school library in Darth Paper Strikes Back. Do you think students should be able to play video games during their free time at school?

  • Did you like this sequel as much as the first Oragami Yoda book? Do you think kids who aren't into Star Wars would like them, too?

  • Try making one of the origami projects in the book yourself.

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