The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (Amulet Books, 2010)

GENRE/CATEGORY: Science Fiction, Humor

HONORS: Winner of the 2010 Cybils Award for middle-grade fiction; Winner of the E.B.White Read-Aloud award for middle readers (audio version).

REVIEW: Tommy is a 6th grader who tells the humorous story of how he and his friends write a journal, or “case file” as they call it, to prove whether or not his weird friend Dwight’s origami Yoda finger puppet can predict the future.  The author cleverly introduces “lessons” on how to deal with middle school life situations in a way that sneaks up on the reader.  The personalities of the characters come across as unique and original; yet you can recognize a kid you’ve known in each of them.  Male and female students participate in the fun, and sometimes desperate, quest to have origami yoga help them avoid an awkward or troublesome situation.  Some believe.  Some don’t.

OPINION: Although the novel can be classified under science fiction, the story is relatable to anyone who enjoys reading about the complex, funny, and awkward daily minutia of middle school life and relationships.  Star Wars fans, however, will love the book even more!

IDEAS: Make an origami Yoda!  Or, make a simple origami from basic choices.  Also, a great book club selection with short chapters and a fun website.

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