105 Ways to Give a Book

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Hey — TeenReader here, bringing you a fabulous review of the equally fabulous book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger. The first thing I noticed about this book was the unusually large number of references to the dorky kingdom (Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, and of course Star Wars). The second thing I noticed? I get every one of them. It’s a real eye opener. Now if you’ll excuse me, my tribble named Gandalf and I need to watch a Buffy marathon in nerdy peace.

The Strange Case of Origami YodaBut really, I did like the book. Basically, an oddball sixth grader creates a Yoda finger puppet out of origami and begins to predict fortunes with it and give advice, which often seems to work out spookily well. The story was compelling and easy to follow. The book itself was meant to be a case file on “origami Yoda,” with different students telling stories about how “Yoda” has helped or hindered them. The collection of short stories kept an otherwise static plot moving in a good flow. The writing styles and thought process really did seem to convey the minds of sixth graders. I also love the slight surrealistic element to it. Not enough to creep you out, but just enough to make you wonder…

My only small problem with the book is that the setup kind of reveals the payoff. Wookiee mistake (I’m sorry — I couldn’t resist). I don’t want to reveal too much, but the book started by letting us know there was a problem, and went into more detail about what exactly the problem was. And as soon as I found out exactly what the problem was, I (correctly) predicted the solution. So either I’m a better fortune teller than origami Yoga, or this needs to involve a few more unconventional twists to keep us guessing. But I could just be very clever.

On the whole, however, this was a really fun, light, and enjoyable read for all my nerdy brethren out there. I would definitely pick it up. I found it to be more enjoyable than blowing up a Death Star. And blowing up a Death Star, that’s fun.

MotherReader here just to add a “What she said!” to this review. I enjoyed the book very much myself — which is one of my key requirements to passing it on to TeenReader. All I can really add is that I particularly appreciated the shout out to the KidLitosphere in the acknowledgements. That’s certainly a first, and I loved it.

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Debbie - Families and Literacy said...

This one's on my to-read list, I just haven't had time to pick it up yet. Glad to hear it is a must read for all of us nerds out there.

Jennie said...

But the real question is this-- do we get instructions on how to make our own Origami Yodas? Because I want one. It can by my precious!

Anonymous said...

Awesome review, TeenReader. And I share Jennie's questions

cotonmom said...

Loved this book (and the review). Instructions for your very own Yoda are in the back of the book.