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4.5 out of 5 stars26
4.5 out of 5 stars
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I don't usually mention book covers in my reviews, but in this instance I have to. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda has one of my favourite covers of any book I own, and every time I look at it, I laugh. I'd have read it just for that reason, which I know is pretty bad because it in no way reflects the content. Still, it never fails to make me smile, and I really want to try and make my own Yoda! Orgiami isn't my area of expertise, but I'll give it a go.

The book itself is what you'd expect: fun and fast, with a few life lessons that middle grade readers will no doubt find helpful. Dwight and his Yoda finger puppet offer advice to a lot of people, often with hilarious consequences, including a legitimate reason to learn how to dance the Twist. It's random and entertaining, and by writing it as part of Tommy's casefile, Angleberger opened the floor to multiple narratives, doodles and hand-written notes.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I love novels that incorporate illustrations and diagrams into the text, as it adds a bit of variety and individualism to the story. I wanted to love Origami Yoda's text as much as I love the cover, but it felt a little flat to me. The characters never grabbed me, though I have been left with a soft spot for origami Yoda. He's so cute and wise, and made of paper. Star Wars fans will love the idea of him, I'm sure!

I think The Strange Case of Origami Yoda will be a hit with middle grade readers, as well as those looking for a quick, light read filled with Star Wars references and a very memorable character made from origami. Now, back to my paper folding instructions...
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on 11 May 2011
I noticed this book in my local bookshop and really liked the cover - Yoda is my favourite character in Star Wars. I really liked this book and my favourite chapter was origami yoda and the embarrassing stain. I couldn't put this book down until I had finished it and I wish it was longer. It was quite funny and I would recommend this book to all my friends. Alexander (Age 8).
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on 19 January 2015
I have bought this book many times to give as gifts to my son's friends, and recommend it to anyone in the UK who is looking for a quirky book for the 7-13 year old age range that the recipient has probably not seen before.

I first bought this book in America for my older son when he was about 8, and he thoroughly enjoyed it and the sequel. It started him off on an origami kick, which he still returns to now and then. My younger boy started reading these last year and has devoured every single book in the series. He was so taken with these characters that he would read excerpts to me, and eventually I spent an hour or so reading the book for myself. I am not easily amused and yet I laughed aloud at several points. I really appreciated how true to life these characters felt, having gone through middle school in America myself this reflected my memories of that time more accurately then the plethora of books that seem to portray middle school as a terrifying, violent place. Instead, this book showed a refreshing tolerance and ultimately acceptance of a kid that the other children had unanimously labeled as weird.

What really sold me on this series, though, was that my younger son dressed up as one of the characters (Dwight, in fact) for World Book Day at school, then sent photos of himself in costume in a fan email to the author Tom Angleberger. Mr. Angleberger actually replied to my son with a lovely, encouraging message that made my son's year! I am of course enormously grateful to the author for taking the time to personally acknowledge my son's efforts.

These books are now our automatic birthday gift for all of my son's friends - I feel we cannot go wrong with a sweet, funny story that encourages artistic expression, written by an author who seems willing to personally engage with his young fans on his website or via email.
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If this book were really about whether origami Yoda was real, I don't think I'd be all that interested. But, of course, that really is just the hook that lets the real story unfold. And the real story is about sixth grade, friends, girls, loyalty, chance, and doing the right thing.

Our narrator is honest, insightful and decent. His world seems real. His concerns and problems feel true. His voice feels fresh and engaging. I just can't see how a reader in that sixth grade range wouldn't be interested in how this book plays out.

So, well worth a try.
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Dwight is the weirdest kid in sixth grade, and his latest stunt isn't helping at all. He's shown up at school with an origami finger puppet of Yoda from Star Wars. And, in his best interpretation of Yoda (which is pretty bad), he's started offering his friends advice. It's good advice when they choose to follow it. But now Tommy has a problem. Yoda is telling him to ask the girl he likes to a dance. Should he do it?

The book is a collection of short stories building toward a climax as Tommy tries to review the evidence to decide if he should or should not follow Yoda's advice. And I think that was my main problem with the book. I wanted something that built a bit more.

On the other hand, many of the stories were heartwarming or funny (or both). While these kids can be mean to each other, they do seem to learn to do better. Well, most of them, but every story needs someone to cause problems.

I can understand why these books are popular with kids in the target age. It just didn't translate as well for me.
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on 10 January 2013
Apart from the Yoda character this doesn't have much to do with Star Wars but my son and I really enjoyed it. The book is a series of mini stories based around a group of school kids. They all tie in nicely at the end with a heart warming finale. My son is 8 and this is maybe aimed at slightly older children with themes of boys and girls fancying each other although it is all good innocent fun. It is set in an American school too so there are cultural and language differences which I sometimes had to explain to my son. It is very funny and my son particularly liked my Yoda impressions! There are some nice cartoon drawings in the book As well. We can't wait to buy the second book in the series and thoroughly recommend this one.
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on 21 September 2013
He read it in a day and I have been ordered to buy the rest of the series. I haven't read it myself but the summary I've heard sounds benign and I like books that are about misfit kids finding their place in the world as my son is a bit of a misfit himself.
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on 30 April 2011
It was hillarious! My favourite chapter was probably "origami yoda and the cheeto hog. I also like seeing funny pictures of people in the story and when there is a picture of origami yoda speaking. (Alex age 9)
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on 2 June 2015
My 11 year old son loved this book - and has now been ploughing through some of the other books in this series. He also enjoyed making the origami Yoda figure. Definitely was a good find.
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on 4 July 2014
I read this book to my 9 year old son and he says-
I like this book but it didn't have a main story. It was just talking about what Yoda did. The end part is good.
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