The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Origami Yoda Puppet

Tommy is not one of the cool kids in his school, but of all of his classmates, the weirdest has to be Dwight. When Dwight comes to school with a folded paper finger puppet resembling Yoda from “Star Wars,” it’s strange enough; but when he starts giving his classmates advice, tidbits of insight and wisdom--or correctly predicts happenings like pop quizzes--in screechy Yoda-speak, while holding the origami puppet, Tommy takes notice. Does Origami Yoda have mystical powers, or is he just a “paper wad” as his friend Harvey says? Is Dwight not as dorky as he appears to be? As Tommy watches kids come to Dwight/Origami Yoda with their questions and problems, he has his own to ponder: does the girl he likes like him back? He’s afraid to find out on his own, but can he trust Origami Yoda to guide him? To help him decide, he collects accounts from friends and classmates of their experience with Origami Yoda’s “powers,” and puts them in a “casebook”, complete with comments from himself and his friends and plenty of doodle-type illustrations.  It’s “Wimpy Kid” meets “Star Wars!” Can it get better than that? Yes, it can! Included are instructions for folding a simple version of Origami Yoda. (I made my own, as you can see!) With that, plus the more complex paper Yoda pictured on the cover, the kid-friendly fonts and the doodles, it’s sure to attract younger readers. But middle graders will better understand the humor and references in the plot, and relate to the situations Tommy and his classmates describe in their encounters with Origami Yoda, their teachers, and each other. For fans of the book, there is a sequel, Darth Paper Strikes Back. This review is dedicated to Ronan.

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