The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: Origami Yoda, Book 3

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: Origami Yoda, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Funny series continues with more folding and friendships.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

All of the Oragami Yoda books show younger kids what middle school's like, and include instructions for creating origami puppets.

Positive Messages

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee maintains that it's better to be true to yourself -- weird warts and all -- than to conform to others' expectations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tommy continues to be loyal and thoughtful. He sets a nice example for other kids when he stands by Dwight and proves that he values his friend for his unusual qualities as well as for his excellent advice.

Violence
Sex

Boys and girls get crushes and like particular members of the opposite sex, but there's no physical contact.

Language
Consumerism

A boy has an unfortunate encounter with a Coke machine. There are lots of references to Star Wars movies and characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee is the third book in Tom Angleberger's  Origami Yoda series. Like The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back, it includes lots of Star Wars references, funny little line drawings, and middle-school humor. In this installment, Dwight, the creator of Book 1's original Origami Yoda finger puppet, has been sent to a private school, so with Origami Yoda unavailable, Dwight's friends at public school invent the Fortune Wookiee, another folded paper oracle to dispense advice and answer hard questions. The book depicts seventh graders disobeying rules at school and at home, and one minor gross-out scene. Even more than the previous two books, Fortune Wookiee indulges a serious Star Wars obsession. Overall, however, it's innocent, humorous fun, especially for kids who love the Star Wars movies.

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What's the story?

Book 3 of Tom Angleberger's Oragami Yoda series, THE SECRET OF THE FORTUNE WOOKIEE picks up where Darth Paper Strikes Back left off. Origami Yoda's creator and voice, Dwight, has begun attending a private school (Tippett Academy), where students are taught to "understand our differences." However, constantly being told he's "special" seems to have deflated Dwight's whole personality. Back at McQuarrie Middle School, narrator Tommy's girlfriend, Sara, has a "Fortune Wookiee," a folded paper "cootie catcher" that fills in for Dwight's Origami Yoda when kids need advice. The kids wonder: Is the Force also in the Fortune Wookiee? Can they trust it? Why doesn't Dwight seem like Dwight anymore? Meanwhile, as the kids deal with the day-to-day perils of middle school, there's a serious situation brewing that will affect education at McQuarrie as they know it.

Is it any good?

This entry continues in the same funny, charming style of Angleberger's previous Origami Yoda books, with all of Tommy and Dwight's friends adding their stories and drawings to the "case file." Angleberger's characters have an entertaining, age-appropriate sense of righteousness, and the author does a hilariously great job of poking fun at Tippett Academy, where the atmosphere is so supportive of "special" kids that they can't really be special anymore. This volume really ups the ante with Star Wars references, for good and bad, so that kids with only a passing familiarity with the films may be a little lost at times -- but not so much that they can't still enjoy Angleberger's clever, relatable characters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee compares with the previous two Oragami Yoda books. Do you think the second or third book stands on its own, or does the reader have to read the first to appreciate the others?

  • Why do you think Dwight seems to lose his own personality when he goes to Tippett Academy? Have you seen this happen with anyone you know?

  • Follow the instructions at the back of the book to make your own Fortune Wookiee.

Book details

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For kids who love Science fiction and Star Wars

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