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Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan (Book 2) Hardcover – July 29, 2014

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Star Wars: Jedi Academy
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (July 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545621259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545621250
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—Roan Novachez is back for a second year at Jedi Academy—a typical middle school with a Star Wars twist. Students communicate via messages posted to holobook and endure disgusting cafeteria food served by the new Gamorrean chef, Gammy. Roan spends his days training to be a Jedi while navigating problematic situations with friends, embarrassing moments, bullies, and the worries of report cards. Classes are taught by Librarian Lackbar, Master Yoda, and other characters from the films. Yoda is an exception, but other familiar characters have slightly different names, like T-P30 and RW-22. The full-color cover is a bit misleading, since all graphics inside are rendered in black-and-white; however, the content makes up for any disappointment. This series of diary-format graphic novels is sure to be popular with elementary and middle-grade readers. Recommended for all public and school libraries.—Gaye Hinchliff, King County Library System, WA

From Booklist

Roan Novachez has high hopes for his second year at Jedi Academy, since he finally gets to start his pilot training. Because his dad is a pilot, Roan feels confident that he’ll be great, but when he finally gets to class, he realizes he has a lot to learn. He also has a lot to learn about being a good friend: a few misunderstandings with his closest buddies lead to a lot of hurt feelings, and Roan falls in with the mean-kid crowd for a while. The contrasts between Roan’s journal entries and the panels depicting his days at school demonstrate Roan’s still-burgeoning sense of emotional maturity and make the growth of his self-awareness and confidence that much more gratifying. Roan’s comics for the school paper, as well as class schedules and cafeteria menus stuffed with Star Wars jokes, are delightful interludes. Best-selling Brown’s naive, sketchy black-and-white illustrations are the perfect match for this journal-style comics hybrid, sure to appeal to fans of Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The runaway success of Brown’s Star Wars–themed graphic novels will likely keep growing, thanks to a sizable first printing. Grades 3-7. --Sarah Hunter

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is the best book ever!!!really fun!!
It's not really intended for adults and is missing the sly dark humor that can help a kids book transition to a great read for adults as well.
Great book, perfect amount of illustrations with words to keep it interesting.
Helena Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Like its predecessor this is a graphic-comic-chapter-book, and as such it works very well. But, this is the second Jedi Academy book. As the second volume it does not benefit from the novelty that helped sustain the first book, and it needs a plot and some narrative urgency to keep it from being just more of the same.

My bottom line is that the book does a fine job of addressing middle school life and works some interesting variations on the standard school daze conventions, but remains of special interest mostly because of the Star Wars angle, (not that there's anything wrong with that).

In Volume One Mr. Brown took practically every important aspect of the Star Wars canon, rewrote it in a style that would be interesting for and accessible to an early reader, illustrated it with very clever and apt illustrations, and wrapped it all up as a "school days" adventure that featured a realistic and engaging hero.

In this book we move to a more advanced level - addressing the kinds of missteps a middle grader could make with his friends and classmates and also celebrating the kinds of adventures and victories a middle grader could encounter. The experience feels authentic rather than contrived and Roan remains a decent and engaging hero. (It seems worth noting that a running theme through the book is a cautionary tale about the misuse of holobook, (read facebook), as a bullying tool. This is an especially timely topic and fits nicely into the whole middle school experience.)

But as before, the true genius here is the way that everything is based on Star Wars. There are lots of inside jokes and references, so that you have both an engaging story that is open to a Star Wars newbie and an immersive and sly Star Wars compendium for really rabid fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Knight on July 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Brown's newest Jedi Academy book, Return of the Padawan, picks up where the previous one left off. Roan Novachez is about to begin his second year at the academy and is excited about seeing his friends and training to be a starfighter pilot. But things don't go exactly as planned, as Roan runs into girl trouble, friend trouble, bully trouble, and teacher trouble.

Roan continues to learn about the Force, trains as a pilot, goes on field trips to other planets, and keeps drawing his comic strip, Ewok Pilot. Along the way, he learns what happens when you begin to venture down the path of the Dark Side and what it means to truly be a friend.

Brown perfectly captures the essence of his characters, both with words and with pictures.

With all the laughs, smiles, and awkwardness of the first book, Return of the Padawan shows the trials and tribulations of a middle school boy, although one who has the power of the Force. This book is a must read for young boys, or anyone who loves Star Wars and remembers what middle school was like.

I received a preview copy of this book from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the sequel to Jedi Academy. If you read the first book, you are already in familiar territory. However, Jeffrey Brown up is game on this sequel. Besides putting a smile on my face, his book captured my attention to the point I couldn't put it down once I was by the middle of it. Who could have thought that you could have intrigue in middle school even in the Star War universe?

In this book, Brown tells us what happen to Roan on his second year in the Jedi Academy. As in the first installment, this book is written in the fashion of a black and white comic book with interlaced pages from Roan's personal diary to give us an insight to Roan's mind and other notes such as letters and pages from the Padawan Observer to flesh out the Roan's world.

This kind of story works because even as it happens in the Star Wars Universe, because Brown makes Roan's troubles in Jedi Academy relatable. I was half way this book, having my chuckles and smiles, thinking that this is the kind of book you can easily put down. Then a twist happened, one that I could see building up for a few pages. Just a few more pages, I thought. No easy resolution in sight, even worst, things got complicated. Ok, maybe a few more. This book was supposed to be just fun and relaxing read, but I was so vested on Roan that I have to know what was going to happen at the end.

The good thing is that it is only 176 pages long, so I was able to finish it in a few hours. The bad thing is that it is only 176 pages long and I finished it in a few hours. So I could easily recommend this book for Star Wars fans and, frankly, for anyone who wants a chuckle with a good and simple story. On top of that, this is a book that you could easily pass to your little ones as they start to read. Another great introduction to comic books and Star Wars, with a great morale too.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a cute little graphic novel clearly intended for young kids. You'll see it described this way a lot but it's true: this really is Diary of a Wimpy Kid in the Star Wars Universe. Although I hadn't read book 1, book 2 picks up the next year in Roan's life so I didn't feel like I had missed anything.

Story: Roan returns for his second year at the Jedi Academy. Once again, he'll have to contend with a Gamorrean cook, bullies, flight simulators, meditation training, crazy Yoda quotes, and more.

The book is all black and white and contains diary like entries, letters home, observations, school newspaper clips, etc. It's more than a simple set of sequential comics panels telling a straight story. But the overall arc is 1 year at school.

A lot of this book is very topical and it will be interesting in future years to see just how much it represents the zeitgeist of 2014. It's not really intended for adults and is missing the sly dark humor that can help a kids book transition to a great read for adults as well. As with Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Dork Diaries, this is fully and solely something that kids will appreciate. Admittedly, I tried to read it and got bored real fast.

My 11 year old loves Star Wars and Dork Diaries. So of course she liked this. Her comments were that it was too 'busy' (the fonts are really, really, hard to read) but that it was cute. She would want me to buy the next in the series.

Reviewed from an ARC.
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