Skip to main content

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

"The big question: Is Origami Yoda real? Well, of course he's real. I mean, he's a real finger puppet made out of a real piece of paper. But I mean: Is he REAL? Does he really know things? Can he see the future? Does he use the Force? Or is he just a hoax that fooled a whole bunch of us at McQuarrie Middle School? It's really important for me to figure out if he's real. Because I've got to decide whether to take his advice or not, and if I make the wrong choice, I'm doomed!"
So begins Tommy's case file, a notebook in which he has compiled the stories of his fellow students and their encounters with Origami Yoda. Origami Yoda inhabits the finger of 6th grade weirdo Dwight and is dispensing advice to students. Advice that couldn't possibly really be coming from Dwight because Origami Yoda is way smarter than he is. It is very important to Tommy, whose social future depends on whether or not Origami Yoda gives good advice. In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Tom Angleberger delivers an insightful look into the complex social workings of a sixth grade class and the experience that is middle school.
Every once in a while I come across a book that makes me sad I no longer have a room full of fifth graders to feed it to. This is one such book. Let me tell you, they would fight over it like a pack of starving hyenas. Not just the boys either. Oh no, this is one of the books you can put in the hands of any kid (or adult) and it is guaranteed to be enjoyed. It will be best enjoyed by those who are familiar with the character of Yoda, but you don't have to be a Star Wars fanatic to appreciate the book*. And there is so much to appreciate. The point of view switches between the kids contributing to the file are done well. Each section written by a different person is done in a different font and the characters come across as genuine, both boys and girls. The book is a mystery where clues to the nature of Origami Yoda are given and analyzed. It is also a real and humorous look at the awkwardness that is sixth grade. And far outshining all the other awkward middle schoolers is Dwight, creator and keeper of Origami Yoda.

Most important though is this: THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS! Not mildly funny, but side hurting, rolling on the floor, laugh out loud funny. To confirm the truthfulness of this and ensure it wasn't just me, I read several passages to my husband. His reaction confirmed it. Accompanying the story are amusing illustrations added to the case file by Tommy's friend Kellan.   All together it is a perfect package of fun reading. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

ETA: I only just now discovered there will be a sequel coming out next month! It is titled Darth Paper Strikes Back . I am almost a little afraid that it might spoil the fun of this original story but it won't stop me from reading it.

*Although people who don't know their Star Wars will miss some of the jokes, like this particular gem:
Q: Hey, Origami Yoda, have you seen that totally hilarious YouTube video where Chewbacca dances with a Jawa?
A: What a Jawa is?
Q: You know, a Jawa. One of those little guys from the first movie.
A: What this movie is?
Q: Star Wars!
A: What?
Q: Episode Four! A New Hope! Star Wars, dude!
A: In that movie I was not.


Popular posts from this blog

Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Future Favorite Friday: June 2018

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments. Two Naomis  was one of my favorite reads of 2016 so I was understandably excited it's getting a sequel.  In this sequel to  Two Naomis , now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges. Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home. Naomi Marie i

The Reece Malcolm List

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding surprised me. Enough people I trust enjoyed it so I knew I would like it, but wasn't expecting to like it as much as I do. It is a really great book that is fun and has real heart and soul too. Synopsis: Things I know about Reece Malcolm: 1. She graduated from New York University. 2. She lives in or near Los Angeles. 3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week. 4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon. 5. She’s my mother. Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much. L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love. But the

Ash & Bramble

I have established that I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. You know what else I love? Books written by Sarah Prineas. Both her MG series are great favorites of mine. When she happened to mention on Twitter long ago that she was working on a YA, I followed closely eager to read whatever the result was. Ash & Bramble  is a fabulous work of genius. (I consider Sarah a friend as well as an author I love, and she sent me the ARC I'm reviewing here.) Pin lives in the Godmother's fortress sewing clothes with the other seamstresses tasked with producing the beautiful one of a kind ballgowns the Godmother uses for her mysterious purposes. Pin has no memories of her life prior to the day she begins her work as a slave to the Godmother's will. Everything that came before is a blank nothing. While she has no memories, she is still a person with a will and a fierce defiance to live her own life. She gets a chance to plan an escape when she is used as a foot model for