A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
What's the story?
In a group of friends on the edges of middle school society, the most unusual character is Dwight, a boy who's been known to sit in holes and mop up spills with the clothes he's wearing. One day, Dwight shows his friends an origami Yoda finger puppet he made and proceeds to channel the Star Wars prophet, telling classmates' fortunes in a Yoda-like voice. This book includes anecdotes related by the main narrator, Tommy, and several of their friends, as they debate whether origami Yoda is "real," meaning whether he can really predict the future and advise lovelorn and stressed out tweens.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether oragami Yoda can tell the future. Do you think kids at your school would believe in the origami Yoda?
Have you read other books that are narrated by more than one person? Do you like this approach to storytelling?
Do you know any kids like Dwight? Why do you think he does some of the odd things he does?
- Author: Tom Angleberger
- Genre: School
- Topics: Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Abrams
- Publication date: March 1, 2010
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 141
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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