Sep 1, 2011

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger review

Dwight is a weird kid, but not as weird as the Origami Yoda he carries around on his finger. Several kids in his sixth grade class think he's just trying to get attention, but really Origami Yoda is very wise. Dwight speaks on behalf of Origami Yoda simply because the green paper creature lives on his finger, but he does not come up with Origami Yoda's answers.

Tommy, a classmate, decides to put together a case file listing all the "miracles" & "advice" that Origami Yoda supposed made happen so that he can decide once and for all if Origami Yoda is for real or not. Harvey, a decided non-believer, makes snarky comments after each story down-playing the plausibility of Origami Yoda's wisdom.

Tommy's findings are meant to be simple, but nothing could be farther from the truth. After hearing dozens of tales, Tommy is no closer to the truth than he was at the beginning, but what he does find is even more surprising.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is without a doubt one of the cutest books I have read in quite a long time! We start off with Tommy explaining why the case file has been put together & what he (and his classmates) hope to achieve. Several students tell different stories about dim-witted Dwight's amazing ability to give voice to Origami Yoda's astounding wisdom. Harvey really is a snarky nay-sayer, but I admire his character's ability to quantify why Origami Yoda's advice did nothing to improve several situations.

I liked how each chapter in the "case file" had a different narrator & the font style changed accordingly. The font really lent an extra emotion to the characters that we really couldn't obtain through hearing about them. We don't learn much about hardly any of the characters except what we are told from other characters. A composite of each person exists made up of the different glimpses we see from other characters. This whimsical approach allows the reader to engage on a different level because you're not focused on getting from A to B in the story, you're focused on collecting the next puzzle piece to solve the debate at hand.

Even more entertaining about this book is the simple fact that it appeals to all sorts of readers. You don't have to be a Star Wars fan to understand the jokes & you certainly don't have to be a boy to get the underlying story line. Also, the drawings & sketches in this "case file" really allow the reader to escape back into a middle-school mindset. The jokes are different, the expressions are unique & one can never really know what the expect from one moment to the next.

This book was funny beyond measure & an absolute pleasure to read. At under 150 pages, I strongly urge you all to read this comical tale about an estranged boy & his Origami Yoda.

Oh yeah and of course there is a sequel. Recently released: Darth Paper Strikes Back promises to follow in its predecessor's hilarity.

No comments: