A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Elementary school readers will get a funny but insightful view into middle school curriculum and culture.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda's cast of unusual and insecure sixth graders show that wisdom can come from surprising sources; anyone may have something to teach us.
Positive Role Models
Tommy is honest about his feelings for Sara, and he admits remorse for his occasional unkindness toward Dwight. He's a regular kid who may let other boys and girls know it's natural to make mistakes, or to feel nervous about a crush. Dwight shows that a young man can let his freak flag fly and survive.
Violence & Scariness
In the chapter "Dwight and the Fight," a bully named Zack is mean to a girl Dwight likes, so he avenges her by jumping the bully from behind a trash can. This happens offscreen, but readers are told that Zack "clobbered him," and Dwight walked away with a large bruise on his face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sixth graders think and talk about having crushes on members of the opposite sex, and one couple kisses at a school dance. The main narrator, Tommy, views PDAs (public displays of affection) with disdain.
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There's some immature name-calling; kids call each other "idiot," "jerk," "fartface," "dork," "weirdo," "loser," and "pain in the butt."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tom Angleberger's The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is the first book in a series about a group of middle schoolers. In this outing, a member of the group named Dwight creates an origami finger puppet of the Stars Wars character Yoda and convinces at least some of his schoolmates that it's like an oracle who can can impart wisdom and predict the future. This novel is full of humor and light middle school angst over schoolwork, crushes, and friendships. The device of the Yoda puppet means there's a certain focus on popular culture, including kids' fascination with the Star Wars movies. There's also some middle school meanness, including one incidence of bullying, one fight, and name-calling among friends. The kids think and talk about members of the opposite sex whom they "like," and one couple kisses at a school dance.
Is It Any Good?
Middle school's awkward moments are fodder for ORIGAMI YODA, a funny, charming little book about tween crushes and friendships. Tom Angleberger creates situations and characters that are at once highly unusual and very relatable. The author is also ingenious in his use of a device--the origami Yoda-- that's both trendy and timeless, as Star Wars seems to be a film series that kids will keep "discovering" for generations to come.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.