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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-I was really captured by this book.
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...
Published on March 6, 2010 by Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews

versus
141 of 161 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vastly entertaining... but...
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...
Published on August 28, 2010 by M. Heiss


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141 of 161 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vastly entertaining... but..., August 28, 2010
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (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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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-I was really captured by this book., March 6, 2010
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (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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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book you must, enjoy it you shall!, March 31, 2010
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This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Hardcover)
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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious middle school fun, February 27, 2010
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The reviews are strong in this one, June 15, 2010
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (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. Because I've got to decide whether to take his advice or not, and if I make the wrong choice, I'm doomed!" It's strange to think that Tommy would be this torn up over an origami finger puppet belonging to the school's biggest dork. But then he starts recounting for us the wonders of Origami Yoda's advice. It may not always be spot on, but it's certainly heads and tales more intelligent than Dwight, the boy who created the puppet and who voices him (poorly). Example: How do you get out of a potentially embarrassing situation when you're in the bathroom and you spill water on your pants so that it looks like you peed yourself? Origami Yoda says: "All of pants, you must wet." See? Strangely good advice. Of course, then Tommy starts asking Origami about Sara, the girl he likes, and the answer he receives leaves him conflicted. Believe the talking folded paper or consider it a hoax and play it safe? The book is filled with little drawings and sidenotes as different classmates weigh in on the "Origami Yoda" conundrum.

It's not as if author Tom Angleberger hasn't written children's books before. You just have to know how to find them. The first book of his that came to my attention was the great if too little lauded "The Qwikpick Adventure Society" (one of the rare books where you'll find happy kids living in a trailer park, and where one us a Jehovah's Witness). Alongside his other book "Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run", Tom was writing under his pseudonym "Sam Riddleburger". A cute name, sure, but it's lovely to see him finally embrace his true name with this, his best book to date.

Why is it his best? Well, there's how he tackles the character arc of Dwight, for one thing. Lots of books feature uncool kids, but very few are adept at pinpointing exactly why those kids are considered uncool. If you're reading the book from that kid's point of view then you will undoubtedly see how they're just an average person dealing with the cruel dealings of their fellow classmates. Then, once in a great while, you'll read a middle grade novel that separates the freaks from the geeks. A geek is someone who is usually punished for their extraordinary intelligence and lack of social skills. A freak is freaky. Fregley in the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books is freaky. And Dwight in "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" is also freaky. Think about what it would be like to go to middle school with Andy Kaufman and you've a vague approximation of Dwight's frame of mind. Even Dwight's name is a clue. In this day and age, characters with the name Dwight (think of the American version of the show "The Office") are set apart from the pack. The difference is that in "Origami Yoda", Angleberger invites you to ridicule and dislike Dwight as much as the other kids do, right at the start. Then he begins the slow, meticulous process of not only humanizing him, but also making it clear that just because you write someone off for being strange, that doesn't mean that other folks are going to do the same thing. It's a book that discusses tolerance of others in terms that kids are actually going to understand and be interested in. And that, to my mind, is what gives the book that little added lift it needs to set it apart from the pack.

Speaking of details, for such a seemingly obvious novel, there were lots of little details I enjoyed in it. For example, the fact that owning and enjoying the "Spider-Man 3" soundtrack is considered uncool makes for a fantastic character detail. And nobody, but nobody, zeroes in on the cheesy stuff adults make and do like Angleberger. At certain points in the story you get a glimpse of the school's posters for the PTA Fun Nights. They're a horrific combination of bad puns, even worse clip art, and cheesy wordplay. And I won't even go into Mr. Good Clean Fun and Soapy the Monkey. I'll let you discover that little joy on your own.

"Star Wars" is forever, so I was a little sad to see "American Idol" references made in the book. Interestingly, while I feel that the first three "Star Wars" films are now and forever, "American Idol" is just a flash in the pan phenomenon that will date this text far faster than anything. Maybe if this book garners the right amount of attention they can change the text in the future to whatever pop hit television show is on the telly then. And honestly, I really do think that the book is going to stick around for a while. Kids who want funny books will grab it. It makes a rather striking companion to "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", particularly when you take into account the interstitial drawings. Boys will like it, girls will like it, adults will like it, even educated fleas will like it. For a fun middle grade that dares to rise a little higher than the usual crop, place your bets on "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda". Or, in the words of the great warrior himself, "Enjoy book, you soon will."

For ages 9-12.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific fun, May 4, 2010
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Hardcover)
(Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review, but I have received books from this author in the past, and I consider him an online friend. Also, I am listed in the Acknowledgments section among his list of "cool folks.")

"The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" by Tom Angleberger is the third book I've read by this author. His two previous books were written under the pseudonym Sam Riddleburger. I need to make that clear for the purposes of comparison later.

This book is presented as kind of a case book, a journal in which each chapter is a section of the story written from a different perspective, trying to determine whether Origami Yoda was just a finger puppet used by a weird kid to make predictions or if it really had powers.

The aforementioned "weird kid," Dwight, claims that Origami Yoda speaks through him, and gives other students advice by tapping into the Force.

Each chapter relates a different student's experiences with the advice from Origami Yoda, and some idea as to whether the writer believes in him. Each chapter ends with comments by Harvey, another student and Origami Yoda-cynic, and final comments by Tommy, the student who compiled this casebook and a believer.

That is one of the first things that shows the genius in how this book is written. Each narrative sounds credible. Angleberger genuinely shifts perspectives and presents the stories from different points of view. His diction, narration, and structure shift as each character takes over. It is very easy to believe that each chapter was written by a different person.

The story is a lot of fun. Watching the school year progress, following the sub-plots, and watching each student deal with this mystery is well worth the read.

Tom Angleberger excels at writing from kids' perspective. His two previous books that I've read, "The Qwikpick Adventure Society" and "Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run" (co-authored with Mike Hemphill), are also in persuasive first-person narration.

"Yoda" is, like "Qwikpick," presented in a journal format. For young readers (such as my 11- and 13-year-old boys, each of whom loved the book), it's a nice affirmation that some adults do take kids' interests seriously. Kids do compile these kinds of journals, regarding their adventures and mysteries as serious. Too many adults dismiss them.

The book also looks like a journal. Every page has been lightly printed with what look like rumpled lines and folds as if it had been carried around by a sixth grader. The feel of this book is really a delight.

"Origami Yoda" celebrates them. The kids in this book are realistic, smart, and ... above all else ... kids. I could easily believe that my son hangs out with Kellen or Dwight or Tommy at lunch.

If I might indulge here ... "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" is enjoying a level of commercial success that "Stonewall Hinkleman" and "Qwikpick" didn't. Perhaps that's related to the "Star Wars" licensing and the accompanying promotion. I would strongly encourage readers who pick up "Origami Yoda" and enjoy it to look for the other two books, too.

Also ... Angleberger has filled the book with what we in the geek community call "Easter eggs," little references to other things that appeal to serious fans.

For example, the students attend McQuarrie Middle School. There is a reference to buying food at the Qwikpick. Harvey makes a comment about Robert E. Lee's horse. (Good luck figuring that one out if you're not a Riddleburger fan!)

This is a great middle-school level read, and any adult lovers of kidlit should definitely check it out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever. Really. Ever., June 24, 2010
By 
Mindy Allport Settle (Willow Springs, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Hardcover)
I'm on vacation in Cape Cod and saw this book in a bookstore window. I thought it would be great for my nephews (both of whom I've trained to be Star Wars fans). I started reading it in the store and then came back to the room to finish it. This book is an absolute work of art and I plan to purchase several more copies for friends and family. The one I bought today, though, stays with me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Series, August 25, 2012
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This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Hardcover)
My 8 year old son LOVES this series! He reads it alone and also at night I read it to my 5 year old and he loves it too! Its full of cute illustrations, has a great plot, likeable characters and it's easy for both of my children to understand. I highly recommend this whole series! I often tell my friends about it as well. Is appropriate for boys and girls too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Origami Yoda... Fact or Fiction?, December 7, 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Hardcover)
What's up with Origami Yoda? Tommy, a normal boy in sixth-grade at McQuarrie Middle school, has a huge crush on a girl named Sara. She is a girl that goes to the same school as Tommy. But he has a bigger problem: Is the advice that Origami Yoda gives, real? Origami Yoda is a piece of paper folded into the shape of Yoda from Star Wars by Dwight who is Tommy's friend. Supposedly, Origami Yoda gives advice, but that advice is not always best. Dwight, his creator, also speaks for Yoda in a very poor Yoda voice imitation. Kellen, Harvey, Lance, Mike, and Quavondo are friends of Tommy who have also sought the advice of Yoda. This book tells the story of these friends and their experiences with asking Yoda for advice and trying to determine if that advice was right or wrong to follow.

One day Kellen was leaning over the sink for some soap, but when he leaned back there was a wet spot on his pants that looked like pee,but wasn't pee. He went to ask Lance to grab his jacket from their classroom, but it would take to long and both of them could not afford to be late. To Kellen's surprise out came Dwight from a stall with Yoda on his finger (gross). "Dwight" called Kellen "Can I please ask Origami Yoda something?". "Sure" replied Dwight". "Um... Origami Yoda I got my pants wet, not because i peed, but what should I do?" asked Kellen. "All of pants you must wet." Dwight said in his Yoda voice. So Kellen quickly splashed water all over his pants. When he got to class his teacher was surprised, but at least he wasn't late. Quavondo was called the "Cheeto Hog" and this next experience tells why and how he is no longer the "Cheeto Hog". It was the day of the field trip to the zoo and the kids were not aloud to get food from the concessions stands, but everyone was starving. All the kids including Quavondo saw a vending machine and thought the teacher never said we could not get food from the vending machine. Quavondo was first in line for a snack and right after he had pushed the button the teacher came over and said "No food from the vending machines!". "But I already pressed the button" cried Quavondo. "Oh fine Quavondo can get his snack, but no one else!". People yelled out things like "Hey, I want some!" or "That's not fair!". Quavondo got so overwelhmed he stuffed his mouth with cheetos and from that day on he was known as the "Cheeto Hog". One day at lunch when Quavondo was sick and tired of people calling him "Cheeto Hog" he went over to ask Dwight if he could talk to Yoda. Dwight said "No Cheeto Hog". "Please" Quavondo begged. "No". Then Dwight's hand shot up with Yoda on one finger."Cheetos for everyone you must buy" Dwight/Origami Yoda said. Then Dwight covered his mouth with his other hand. "Assembly during tomorrow." He managed to say through his hands. "Then cheetos give you must. Big bags they must be." Later that day Quavondo's brother dropped him off a the supermarket to buy the cheetos. The next day at the assembly Quavondo passed out all the cheetos. He did get caught by the principal, but he was no longer the "Cheeto Hog". Now for the big event (drumroll). One day at lunch Tommy was trying to get an answer from Origami Yoda, but all he was saying was"purple". Suddenly Tommy asked Yoda "Why can't you stop Dwight from being such a loser?". That made Dwight angry. Next Dwight pulled Origami Yoda of his finger and threw him in the trash. The next day Harvey came to school with his own Origami Yoda. Then Tommy asked Harvey's Yoda "Does Sara like me?". "Hates you she does," said Harvey's Yoda "Laughs at you with friends she does.". "Wrong Harvey is," said a screechy voice. "Likes you she does. Much very!". So the two Yodas had a bet, Tommy has to ask Sara to dance and if she says yes Dwight wins, but if she says no Harvey wins. Who do you think will win?
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Candy for the Reluctant Reader!, November 4, 2010
By 
Jack's Dad "BabyJaxmom" (Lincoln, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Hardcover)
My son is a 10 year-old very reluctant reader. One of his classmates told him this was a "quick book" to read, and it meets the reading requirements for his grade level (5th). He LOVES it! He and all his buddies have made origami yodas (with light sabers in various shades) and have a club at recess. Last night he read for a good hour without me having to nag him, and I heard him laughing out loud at several parts. He came in to my room two or three times to tell me something funny that had happened in the book, and today he talked about it all the way to school! This is HUGE! Need more books like this one to prove what I've been trying to teach him for years: books can really be fun!
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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (Hardcover - March 1, 2010)
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