The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

October 22nd, 2010 by Brian Leave a reply »

Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in conversation with me has probably realized what a fanatic I am about Star Wars (one student even got me an Obi-Wan tie one year). That’s why The Strange Case of Origami Yoda intrigued me. I was curious how Angleberger would deal with the licensing issue and what he would do with that license.

Angleberger did get full permission to use the names and likenesses from the movies, which is cool because the novel would definitely have a different feel if we had cheap knock-offs. Throughout are sketches and in-jokes that will be really funny for Star Wars fans (the school is McQuarrie Middle School, McQuarrie being the name of the concept artist from the first movie)(and yes, I actually know the correct spelling for sarlacc). You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate the book, but it does help.

The plot is Stargirl/Schooled-esque, where an outsider tries to help the world around him and the narrator has trouble dealing with it. In this version, the outsider is a 5th grader named Dwight who normally is crazy but one day starts giving advice through a finger puppet that looks like Yoda, mystical Jedi Master.

The situations that the kids get into and the crazy advice the origami Yoda gives are reality tweaked a little bit, much like Diary of a Wimpy Kid is relatable but also hilarious. The story’s enjoyable and a very quick read. I finished the entire novel in a day, also a characteristic of Wimpy Kid.

My only complaint concerns the last two pages (not the origami pattern – that’s cool), but the last two pages don’t ruin the rest of the story. Don’t flip to the last two pages, though. That would spoil the fun.

I recommend this one for those students who are looking for a fun read or a follow-up to Wimpy Kid. The perspective switches voices quite a bit but they’re all labeled to make it easier to follow.


Leave a Reply