A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus is the sixth and final "case file" in Tom Angleberger's Origami Yoda series. This time, the kids find themselves squabbling and sorting out hurt feelings. National monuments and the Smithsonian barely engage most of the students, who are far more interested in relationship dramas. A prank with relatively minor consequences enrages a museum employee and a teacher, who punishes the children harshly. The kids aren't the only ones up to mischief -- the principal and teachers engage in a bit of surprising subterfuge as well.
What's the story?
Tommy and friends are finally on their way to Washington, D.C, after successfully saving their field trip in Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue! Their joy evaporates, however, when Principal Rabbski bans origami on the long trip. The resourceful seventh-graders make do with what they have: snacks. Dwight fashions fruit leather into a series of ephemeral Fruitigami Yodas to help them, but Harvey's wrinkly, stinky Emperor Pickletine is persistently sour. It's a long, frustrating day full of bus-seating drama, overbearing teachers, and heartbreak -- and some romantic sparks. Maybe the Sour Side won't win out after all …
Is it any good?
While this book explores the "Sour Side" of friendship, Tom Angleberger writes with deft understanding of middle school worries and priorities and spot-on humor. Tweens will happily hitch a ride on this bus trip of doom. Romantic aspirations complicate friendships and drive kids apart, but readers will notice that beneath it all the kids are more alike than different. The creative presentation of this series, with fully illustrated pages representing a real collaborative project, is sure to inspire similar group efforts -- and plenty of paper-folding.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Tommy's point that Harvey isn't a bad kid, he just doesn't know how to get along with people. Do you know anyone like Harvey?
Was this a satisfying ending to the series?
Try a collaborative writing project such as the Origami Yoda case files with your friends.
- Author: Tom Angleberger
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: August 12, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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