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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda Hardcover – March 1, 2010

223 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Origami Yoda Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—For Tommy, the only question is whether or not Origami Yoda is real. Of course he's real as a small puppet on Dwight's finger. But does the oracle possess magic power? In order to find out, he decides to compile scientific evidence from the experiences of those who asked Origami Yoda for help. His friend Harvey is invited to comment on each story because he thinks Yoda is nothing but a "green paper wad." Tommy also comments because he's supposedly trying to solve the puzzle. In actuality, the story is about boys and girls in sixth grade trying to figure out how being social works. In fact, Tommy says, "…it's about this really cool girl, Sara, and whether or not I should risk making a fool of myself for her." The situations that Yoda has a hand in are pretty authentic, and the setting is broad enough to be any school. The plot is age-old but with the twist of being presented on crumpled pages with cartoon sketches, supposed hand printing, and varying typefaces. Kids should love it.—Sheila Fiscus, Our Lady of Peace School, Erie, PA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Tommy and his friends think that Dwight is a weirdo who’s “always talking about robots or spiders or something.” In true Dwight fashion, he shows up at school one day brandishing a little origami Yoda finger puppet. The really weird thing is that it doles out very un-Dwight-like bits of wisdom, and the mystery is whether the Yoda is just Dwight talking in a funny voice or if it actually has mystical powers. The book is structured as a collection of stories gathered by Tommy and told by kids who either believe or don’t. See, Tommy has a more vested interest than just idle curiosity—he is dying to know if he can trust Yoda’s advice about asking the cute girl to dance with him at the PTA Fun Night. Origami Yoda—a sort of talking cootie catcher—is the kind of thing that can dominate all those free moments in school for a few weeks. Angleberger’s rendering of such a middle-grade cultural obsession is not only spot-on but also reveals a few resonant surprises hidden in the folds. Naturally, Yoda-making instructions are included. Grades 4-6. --Ian Chipman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Series: Origami Yoda
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984257
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 204 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on August 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Tom Angleberger gets the relationships of boys-not-yet-men exactly right. The self-consciousness, the silliness, the high-strung emotions, the intense wanting to be grown-up, the embarrassment, the awkwardness, how hard it is to avoid taking the easy way out, and how loyalty to your friends is the right thing.

This is a book about friendship and loyalty, with a great plot about "will he ask the girl to dance?" And a surprising finger puppet who knows all the answers.

Great on plot and characterization -- marvelous side doodles and illustrations that go with the case file. Directions for making Origami Yoda at home.

Now the bad news. Fart-face. Scared the bejeezus out of me. Crap. You're an idiot. I'm an idiot. You're a moron. You're a jerk. You're stupid. He's a loser. You're a loser. You're so stupid. I'm a loser. You weirdo. Bejeezus.

My family of boys ranges in age all the way down to kindergarten. What big brother reads, little brother repeats. Do I want to sanction these words? Three stars.

Update -- try "The Qwikpick Adventure Society" by Sam Riddleburger. Funny book, similar journaling style, more wholesome (although it features poop as the main part of the adventure.)

Update -- The follow on book, "Darth Paper," is almost entirely free of the objectionable language in this book. Well done, Mr. Angleberger!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews on March 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Imagine yourself, a loser in middle school with loser
friends. At every opportunity to get the girl you like to
like you, it never happens. But that might all change.

When Tommy sees the finger puppet of Yoda that that
loser Dwight has on his finger, it seems ordinary. Same
old origami, same good origami it's the same as always.
But when origami Yoda starts to give people advice, good
advice, things change. Since Dwight is such a loser, his
advice should be bad too, right? But Yoda's advice is,
well, Yoda-like. When Tommy starts to think about asking
a girl to a dance, he isn't sure. So by putting together
the case of Origami Yoda, he must come to a conclusion: is
Yoda for real?

I think that this book was good. I also
think that the author expressed each character
individually. I loved how each case file was written in
first person by different people. I was really captured
by this book. I also think that it should be a series.
This book really makes you want to pick it up and never
put it down.

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
Flamingnet Book Reviews
Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Earl on March 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had originally seen this while walking through a Barnes and Noble and remembered it later (being a Star Wars fan with an 11 year-old daughter). I purchased it for her here on Amazon and she was very excited to read it. Once she finished she insisted I read it as well. I can't tell you how glad I am to have stumbled upon this book - what a FUN read!

The book has a really sharp design throughout - I love the illustrations and all the little details - not only do they capture the characters in the book but there are more than a few funny Star Wars references that fans will delight in. As for the writing and story I was captivated from the moment I picked it up. Having a 6th grader, I can truly say that the author has captured the essence of their unique personalities and place in life so well. While there is some character exaggeration that adds to the frivolity of the book, the heart of the characters all ring true and I could place many of my daughter's friends right in the shoes and voice of many of those characters. I laughed out loud several times reading the book - the humor is so warm and sweet and funny.

This is a great book for anyone with a child around middle school age, or even an adult Star Wars fan looking for a really fun book to add to their collection. Both my daughter and I hope that the author revisits these characters - we can't wait for more adventures of Dwight and his Origami Yoda!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on February 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This good-hearted and very funny book is structured as a series of "case files," compiled by 6th grader Tommy, who wonders if Dwight's "origami yoda" is real. That is to say: is the little origami creature, which doofus Dwight places on his finger and "talks to make" really able to dispense wisdom? Or is it just a stupid trick? In the style recently made popular by The Wimpy Kid, this book is written in the 6th grade vernacular and the margins are filled with doodles and cartooning. This book can easily be read in a weekend, and frankly most readers will be enjoying it so much, they won't want to put it down. Note to parents: Angleberger's humor and wisdom hit just the right note in this book, and if you are over 14 when you read it, I think you'll know what I mean.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Let us now sit back and consider what the ultimate boy/girl middle grade novel would contain. By which I mean, the novel that perfectly balances out the stereotypical vision of what boys like in a book versus what stereotypical girls like in a book. You see these stereotypes referred to all the time. "Oh, boys won't read anything with a pink cover." "Oh, girls won't pick up a book unless there's some romance in it." Phooey. Boys read "Babymouse" all the time and girls dig "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". If the book is strong, the premise believable, and the characters well developed then you're gonna have fans of all sorts, regardless of gender. That's sort of how I approach "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda". It's been a while since I found a book that can truly be called genderless (in that it has wide appeal across the board). Sure, you might have a few folks avoid it because there appears to be a "Star Wars" reference on the cover, but c'mon. It's a finger puppet of Yoda. That's funny stuff. You can't help but appreciate it, regardless of whether or not you're a fan of guys holding light sabers in outer space. Basically, funny books are the most requested books in the children's rooms of libraries and the most difficult kinds of books to recommend. With "Origami Yoda" I don't think I'll have a lot of trouble getting this into the hands of kids. The premise sells itself.

Tommy comes right out with his dilemma on page one. "The big question: Is Origami Yoda real? . . . It's REALLY important for me to figure out if he's real.
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