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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
70
4.4 out of 5 stars


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VINE VOICEon 2 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This slim volume of just over 150 pages tells the story of how Roan Novachez, a young boy living on the planet Tatooine (familiar from the Star Wars films), dreams of entering Pilot Academy to follow in the footsteps of his father and older brother, but is rejected and now is set to attend Agriculture Academy (the one Luke Skywalker was complaining about, if memory serves me right). That is, until a letter from the principal of the Jedi Academy arrives, with a personal note from one Master Yoda ...

Aimed at fluent readers (age 7+), the book is littered with in-jokes and references to the Star Wars films (so a familiarity with them is pretty much taken for granted), and, while I found a lot of it a bit tiresome or too zany, there is a lot for children to enjoy and identify with here: dealing with rejection, the excitement/terror of going to a new school and making new friends, experiencing bullying, peer pressure of doing well in class, that first crush on a girl ... My 11-year-old loved it and raced through the book in a day. Easily the best thing about it is the figure of Master Yoda, which is just spot-on and often made me chuckle. I think any young Star Wars fan will be delighted to call this book their own, and you as a parent will be happy because they're spending their time reading.
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VINE VOICEon 21 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I picked this up on a whim on the basis of seeing it described as "Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Star Wars". I was going to give it to my son who had read through all the Wimpy Kid books, but little did I know that he know considered himself too old for them! He took one look at the cover for this and declined the offer.

So I did what any Star Wars loving man of my age would do. I read it myself.

It was quite enjoyable, although I could not get to grips with the main character being disappointed that he was going to Jedi Academy rather than Pilot School! There is a lot of humour in the book, including the main character's Ewok Pilot cartoons which were quite good. There are also a lot of illustrations that are supposed to form part of the character's learning. This could have been a fantastic opportunity to include some cool Star Wars tech stuff, but sadly that has been avoided in favour of cheap gags. In particular the lightsaber schematic particularly irked me as it suggested that it was powered by AA batteries. I'm not completely humourless, the thing that bothered me was more that it broke the spell of the book for me.

If you have an under-10 Star Wars fun in your life I am sure they will love it!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The nearest kind of book I can compare this to is those in the series of 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid'. My son aged 8 has read the whole series and on occasion he even lets me into the jokes but tells me that the books are not for the eyes of parents.

Jedi Academy is in a similar vein, a sort of diary but based on a Star Wars theme. It is nicely presented with good illustrations and as it is a hardback book, it should take a lot of abuse.
My son read it in about an hour, I asked him what he though of it and he grunted 'don't ask!' Roughly translated this means 'I'm reading so don't disturb me!'
And there's me thinking only teenagers were so petulant. I blame it on the parents.

Finally I managed to get a few more words out of him and he finally admitted that 'it was OK'. No more no less. In 8 year old 'speak' this means he liked it.
I had a quick flick through after he had gone to bed and thought on the whole it was 'OK'.

However it is a book in the style of Diary of Wimpy Kid, a style that appears to be on the increase.
In this case as it is more sci-fi, it feels fresher and that allows it to work.
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this for my 8 year old son who, so far, has not really made much of an effort with it. He flicked through it, said "it doesn't look very exciting," and that was that.
So I read it through to see if it was worth reading with him. It's a mix of journal entries, letters, doodles, comic strip entries, report cards, pages from the school newspaper and comic strip. It tells the story of Roan, a young lad from Tatooine who aches to be a star pilot but is turned down for pilot school entry, but is succesful with Jedi Academy. The comic strip is monochrome and on first glance dull which is a shame, as this is Star Wars. But there is a neat range of expression there, and characterisation that works, if you persist.
On the whole though it is a pretty disappointing, unimaginative transposition of middle school tropes and anxieties into the Star Wars Universe. There is nothing to challenge, it is not funny enough or thrilling enough. It ambles along, is mildly diverting, but won't cause any disturbances in the force.
But, I'll still read it with my son to see if there is a spark for younger readers I'm missing.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After the success of Jeffrey Brown's Darth Vader and Son, which I haven't had the chance to read yet, I shouldn't have been surprised to see him creating further work in this world, yet a conventional children's book like Jedi Academy wasn't what I was expecting from him.

I followed a lot of Jeffrey Brown's early autobiographical comics, painfully awkward insights into his love life and personal failings. As charming as they were, after a while it felt like they had become more about Jeffrey Brown, famous comic creator, than Jeffrey Brown, clumsy human, so it's fantastic to see him putting his storytelling skills to good use in a book like this.

In terms of content, Jedi Academy is similar to how I imagine the Wimpy Kid series must be (which I also haven't read, though it was VERY popular when I worked in a library). The format is really easy to read, lots of fun and a great introduction to the Star Wars universe. We enjoyed this book a lot, and it felt great sharing something with my kids that supported a comic creator I've been reading for years. :)
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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was pleased to pick this up having been gifted Darth Vader & Son when my boy was born, which I found a delightful book and one that I enjoy revisiting still.

The first thing to say about this book is that, unlike the above book, this is not a fully coloured book and also that it is a longer tale, told in a style more like a graphic novel.

Pitched, I would think at boys aged 9-14 this is a gently fun collection of sketches at the titular Jedi Academy, readers will be pleased to recognise characters like Yoda and will enjoy the references to Wookies, Ewoks and whatever-the-heck Darth Maul was!

The different skits are varying in amusement but there are plenty of chuckles to be had here. I'm a big Star Wars fan so it was well pitched for my knowledge of the universe but I do wonder if a more casual fan would get all the references?

For big kids and actual kids this is a nice stocking filler.
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on 19 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This gets the thumbs up from my daughter who is just 6 and reading through this with her dad and me. She has been made to watch all the Star Wars films already so she enjoys all the characters in this and dad can read in his best Yoda voice. It is a mixture of comic book, diary entries, scrap book type entries, notice boards, which makes it visually interesting for a child but a little disjointed to read aloud. My daughter doesn't seem to mind though. The book follows Roan as he deals with the disappointment of not making pilot school and instead heading to Jedi academy to learn the secrets of the Force. Along the way he deals with all the usual issues a young person would deal with - friendship, bullies, love, family, scary teachers, inspiring teachers, dealing with new and strange surroundings. It is a pretty cool book and something different for a star wars fan to share with their offspring.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had some high hopes for this and it's okay. Not brilliant but not dreadful. You do have to be a Star Wars fan and you have to be an adult to get some of the humour, some of which is at the expense of the Star Wars universe. If you enjoy the Lego Star Wars shorts you'd probably like this.
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This went down really well in our house - my 9 year old daughter, in particular, really enjoyed it. She tends to flick between books until something catches her attention, and this one certainly did. Plus, as an adult who likes Star Wars, I found enough to enjoy myself.

The story is a simple one, of a one lad who doesn't get to go to the fighter pilot school with his brother, but is offered a place at the Jedi Academy. It's a typical story of a first year away at school, with friends, mean kids, and dealing with girls, but all with a very fun and cute Star Wars twist.

The style of the book was the real winner for my daughter, as it's in the form of a journal, with some comic strips, added pages (such as, 'What Yoda Said This Week) and lots of drawings.

We both hope there's a book soon with year 2!
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on 20 August 2016
This is so brilliant i cant even explain it.

WARNING SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Ok you can't not love this book. Roan is so hilarious. I dont know why but i love his ewok pilot comics and I just burst out laughing when they went on the field trip to Kashy… hang on. i just need to look up the spelling of this. Ok Kashyyk. It's not especially funny but it reminds me of myself.

OK SPOILERS ARE OVER!!!

If ypu love star wars then you will absoloutely love it. My dad likes it and he's 44 so that proves that star wars lovers of all ages will devour this book. A lot of people can relate to Roan and his experiences and that adds to the charm of the book. So, thats my review done and by the way some of it is written in like a comic book if you know what i mean.
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