Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Put down whatever you're reading and pick up The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, the most delightful middle grade novel I've read in ages.

This case study, written from the perspective of a class of sixth graders, attempts to discover if Origami Yoda is real. The weirdest boy in school, Dwight, carries a small paper puppet and uses it to offer advice which solves the problems of his classmates--predicting a pop quiz, repairing a damaged reputation, and providing a variety of romantic guidance. Somehow the advice is always perfect, despite the fact that Dwight is completely clueless. Could this folded paper have mystical powers?

It doesn't get more charming than this. The kids in the class face realistic issues, ones that I see playing out in my own sixth grade classroom each day, so readers will definitely relate. I felt a particular fondness for Dwight, the oddball who is so socially unaware that he can't help but alienate people. The characters are torn between their gut reactions to his strangeness and feeling guilty about how they treat him. This is so spot on.

There are so many elements of the novel which will appeal to young readers. The pages are made to look crumpled, there are doodles in the margins, and each character has his own font. There are even directions to make an origami yoda. Add those fun touches to a sweet and funny story, and you get an instant favorite. I'll be recommending this to everyone.

3 comments:

  1. We are back in reading-sync, I think! I have this one in my book bag right now!! Didn't read your review yet, but you know I'll be back after I finish the book :)

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  2. Katie, you are going to lose your mind for this...it's so good!

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  3. I loved this one! It's so great. I already own a copy but I found one at a used book sale for FIFTY CENTS! can you believe it? hardcover. Yeah, I bought it and immediately gave it to a friend. She told me today that they had read and loved it and she needed to copy the origami pattern before she gave it back and I was like "no it's yours." and she was thrilled. It's a good one.

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