Book Review : The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
This middle school’s weird kid is Dwight, he wiped up a spill during a dance with his shirt, he wore the ugliest sweater vest in the history of sweaters, in fact, he can barely function. One day Dwight brings Origami Yoda to school insisting that the other kids ask the finger puppet for advice. The strange thing is that Origami Yoda gives sage advice, by far better than anything Dwight could ever think to say. Is it possible that Origami Yoda is real? That he actually has the Force or can see into the future? Or is Dwight just playing a joke on everyone? It is very important for Tommy to figure out if Yoda is real because he has to decide if he’s going to take the puppet’s advice.
Adult Point of View
I picked up this oddity while looking for a possible read for my fourth grader. I really didn’t have any expectations and found that I laughed at least four time (literally lol) while reading this novel, though I really think anyone who thinks it’s funny will need to have a warped sense of humor.
Angleberger has split the novel into different cases each told by different students explaining their experience with Origami Yoda as Tommy tries to figure out if this could be real. It also has drawings through out as though it has been drawn in a notebook. One of my favorite things about this book is that most of the kids want to believe he is real even when they are skeptical. How often do we wish our children could maintain that innocence of youth? I also like how the non-believer, Harvey, gets to have his say after each case file to explain what really happened and then Tommy’s rebuttal.
I believe that kids in about sixth grade will begin to enjoy The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, but the ones who will enjoy it the most are adults. Thank heavens we are done with puberty, and can now laugh at the awkward moments. I never knew I would feel like I was going through middle school again when my children were there. This gem came at the perfect moment and is filled with weird truths. (As an example, when I was at the school recently there was a child who had pulled his knees up into his shirt while he squatted on the floor hopping around. His name is very possibly Dwight. No wonder my daughter would like to move on to high school!)
There are a couple of scenes that use a low form of humor, but then there are also subtle jokes. The best sly joke is when the nasty eighth grade girl wants to win the spelling bee and is given the word “mulct” by Origami Yoda. Mulct is never used in the spelling bee, but if she had looked up the definition, instead of just the spelling, she would have seen it means to punish someone or trick them. Many of the situations revolve around the boys and girls liking each other which will go over many younger reader’s heads or interest level.
Yoda gives great advice for the best solution, but not always the desired solution. I would have to agree with Tommy that the advice is better than Dwight would be able to give. Perhaps Origami Yoda really does have the force! I am going to have to read the sequel.
And may the Force be with you.
3.75 stars out of 5
– the Mother
Teen Point of View
I thought this book was very humorous. I highly suggest it for people who want a fast, funny read.
3 out of 5 stars
– the Teen