Books for reluctant readers: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Author: Tom Angleberger
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Hardcover, 144 pages
Genre: Middle Grade
Summary: 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.
While walking through the bookstore my son spotted this book. He picked it up and started to read it immediately. Needless to say we left the bookstore with The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. My son was so entranced with this book he wanted to read it whenever he could. For some kids this is the norm. For my son, it's not. He is a reluctant reader. I'm forever on the hunt for books that I think he would like. This book was a success.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is about a boy, Dwight who makes himself an Origami Yoda. Dwight brings his paper masterpiece to school and places it on his finger and starts talking in a strange voice. Well technically it's Dwight but the strange voice is Yoda's. Yoda starts to distribute advice to fellow students. When some of the advice Yoda dishes out works, more of his classmates seek out his help. This book is in the form of case files compiled by two of Dwight's classmates. Tommy thinks there is a distinct possibility that Origami Yoda can be real while Harvey believes it's all a bunch of hooey. The case files they put together are the stories and testimonies of Dwight's classmates.
As I mentioned my son loves this book. I borrowed this book after he was finished reading so I could see for myself what was so great about this book. This book is funny. At times laugh out loud funny. Tom Angleberger definitely has a sense of humor and it shows through out this book. It also goes a bit deeper then humor. Dwight is an odd kid. He steps to the beat of his own drum. For that reason he gets picked on. Dwight gives some of the mean kids a taste of their own medicine by getting them back. Not necessarily by picking a fight but by using his head. This book encompasses themes such as being yourself, believing in magic, and peer pressure.
I really enjoyed this book. If you know or have a reluctant reader you might want to give this book a try. It's a fun read. Also in the back Tom Angleberger includes instructions on how to make your own Origami Yoda. My son and I both tried it. I can honestly say, origami is not my thing. However I did have fun trying to make my own. Check out my Yoda:
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