Read books for kids, the young ones must (in our best Yoda voice.) That’s why The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger is the book we recommend this week. Melissa Young from Sweet on Books explains why:
What You Need to Know:
• This is a terrific book with a brilliant concept.
• Don’t let the title fool you, neither you nor your young reader needs to be a Star Wars fan to fully enjoy this gem of a book.
• Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid will rejoice, boys and girls alike.
• Set in middle school, sixth grade, but nothing dicey in terms of content other than a couple of crushes on some girls.
This book is such a gem (I know I said that up top, but it bears repeating). I think this is a superb read for your about to be middle schooler, or if your reader is just thinking about middle school, or is in middle school. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda centers around an odd-ball named Dwight who makes an origami Yoda that suddenly starts to dispense sage advice to all who ask for it. Soon kids are lined up to talk to Yoda…or is it Dwight they are lined up to talk to?
And therein lies the premise of this original new novel. Angleberger does a masterful job of writing this book and capturing all the nuances and neuroses that accompany middle school and middle schoolers. I think he must remember that time very well, while the rest of us are trying to forget it. I wish there was a book like this while I was suffering through that time in my childhood!
The novel is organized into case-studies, all with the intent of trying to figure out if Origami Yoda is magic or not. Tommy is the catalyst for this investigation of Yoda. Tommy has a big stake in this quest, because he is trying to figure out whether or not to take Yoda’s advice and ask Sara, the cutest girl on the planet, to dance at the PTA Fun Night. If Yoda is real, than Sara will say yes as Yoda said she would. If Yoda is not magic, then TOTAL HUMILIATION.
Each case study is a retelling of a situation or problem brought to Yoda and is “authored” by person seeking advice of Yoda. Tommy comments on each story, as does Harvey, who never believed in Yoda at all. They gave the studies to Kellen to comment on, but he just doodled all over them. The situations vary from kids seeking advice about what to do when you cry every time you are up to bat in gym class, to what to do when your pants get splashed when you are washing your hands and now it just looks like an embarrassing stain.
The format of this book alone is brilliant. The reader will no doubt identify with all these humiliating and frustrating situations and then they get all these different viewpoints on those very situations, all the while the story is propelled by the mystery of Origami Yoda!
Buy this book you must…is what Yoda would say.
If your child is learning to read, sign them up for a free 30 day trial of the Reading Kingdom online learning program and game. May the force of literacy be with you!