The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Tom Angleberger)

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: "In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel."

The title had me hooked - I mean, Origami Yoda? That has to be read. This one's a middle grade book, which is an unusual read for me, but it's just so...darling. (In a sixth grade boy kind of way, of course.)

I thought this book was great. It's set up as a "case study" by one of the main characters, Tommy, who's trying to figure out whether Origami Yoda's wisdom is real or a hoax. Each of the main characters contributes their personal stories of Origami Yoda's wisdom to the book, which culminates in a final showdown between the wisdom of Dwight's Origami Yoda, and the rival Origami Yoda created by Harvey, the perpetual skeptic. The episodes are accompanied by comments throughout (made by Tommy and Harvey) and illustrations by Tommy's friend Kellen.

This is not a book that reads like a novel - instead, each sixth grader's voice shines through in their separate episodes. The voices are spot on, the comments and drawings hilarious, and, of course, Origami Yoda takes the cake. I thought Origami Yoda (the book) was an accurate portrait of the uncertainties of middle school years, told comically using the lens of a (perhaps) psychic finger puppet. If I had a middle schooler to buy presents for, I would absolutely, positively, without a doubt buy this one. Recommended for middle schoolers and Yoda aficionados. (Which really should include everyone, when you get right down to it.)

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