"Is Origami Yoda real?" is the question that plagues sixth-grader Tommy and drives the plot of this snappy debut. From one perspective, Origami Yoda is a finger puppet that offers cryptic but oddly sage advice to Tommy and his classmates. From another, he is simply the "green paperwad" animated by Tommy's misfit friend, Dwight, who "wear[s] shorts with his socks pulled up above his knees" and stares into space "like a hypnotized chicken." Compiling a series of funny, first-person accounts of Yoda's wisdom from his friends, Tommy hopes to solve this mystery to determine whether to trust Yoda's advice about asking a certain girl to dance. Angleberger peppers his chapters with spot-on boy banter, humorously crude Captain Underpants-style drawings, and wisecrack asides that comically address the social land mines of middle school. Tommy confronts the ethical dilemma of standing up for the weird kid and the angst of school dances: "My hands were shaking and my stomach was excited like the time my dad accidentally drove into a fire hydrant." But with enigmatic counsel like "Cheetos for everyone you must buy," Yoda keeps the mystery alive. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Gr 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.
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.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist