Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
Series: Origami Yoda
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Third Edition edition (August 7, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #42,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #22 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Papercrafts, Stamping & Stenciling > Origami #564 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Chapter Books & Readers > Chapter Books #612 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > School
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Have you heard of origami yoda? If you haven't, you are seriously missing out. I know these books are more for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid audience, but if you are a Star Wars fan of any age, you will love these books. And they're not just for boys either - my daughter likes them, as do I. Let's face it, Star Wars is for everyone. :)Anyway, I just finished this book tonight with my daughter and we are already looking forward to the next installment, Art2-D2 coming March 2013.So what's the theology skinny on these books?Theology: Look to the force you shouldGod is not discussed in any way, shape, or form in these novels. The kids look to these origami characters for advice, some might consider it prophesy or fortune telling (I don't personally). So some parents might have concerns. If you're the kind of parent that didn't want your kids to read Harry Potter because it was about witchcraft, then you probably won't like these books for your kids either. But we're not talking ouija boards or the occult here, we're talking about a creative expression of kid wisdom. It's a fun read with a lot of Star Wars references, and I don't worry that my daughter is going to seek spiritual guidance from folded paper. Don't take it from me, read it and decide for yourself if you're worried.Rating: GThe only profanity looks like this - #$%&!!!. Good, family friendly fun. Nothing to worry about.Social IssuesThe themes in this book are individualism vs. conformity. Acceptance for who you are, not who people think you are. There is some fun poked at ridiculous school administration initiatives and teachers that don't `get it.' The library is the only cool place to hang out (because the librarian is cool, of course).
Not since Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket have I so anxiously awaited the next book in a series. Tom Angleberger has used the tractor beam of humor to pull me into life at McQuarrie Middle School. "The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee" is the third in this chronological series. Although the characters can stand alone, there are several pivotal plot elements that have their foundation in the two previous books. I do recommend starting with "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" to see these developments.The language and age-appropriate vocabulary are perfect for both genders. Each chapter is an entry into a case file on the characters, who are all in seventh grade. The students do the writing and the illustrating. The imaginative illustrations add much to the page - don't skip over them, as they contain some of the best one-liners in the story.The major conflict comes from Dwight being missing from the school. Dwight is the creator and medium for Origami Yoda. Using the Force and wisdom of the Jedi, Origami Yoda was able to find unique solutions to difficult problems for the guys. They are left to their own devices until Sara, Dwight's neighbor, brings in Chewbacca, the Fortune Wookiee. Tentatively, the group begins to use Chewie to contact the Jedi Force and make life easier. The Wookiee speaks, and Han Foldo interprets the Chewbacca wail into English. The results are not what the group is used to, to say the least.This book explores a touching story line about being different from other kids. The author treats this topic with candor and sensitivity. All of the kids in the group have a stake in understanding how it feels to be different and special.
As the "Origami Yoda" series has progressed, I've noticed the books have become more critical of our education system, and some of its glaring flaws -- most noticeably the focus on test results over actual education, and the tendency for "problem" students to be swept under the rug and/or removed from the system entirely. Under normal circumstances this would bother me considerably. It's annoying enough when a book gets preachy, but when an entire series gets derailed because the author suddenly wants to use his books as a soapbox, especially when said series hasn't been preachy before now, it gets tiring."The Secret of the Fortune Wookie" manages to be an exception, however. Yes, it is very openly critical of the shortcomings of the American school system. But it remains true to the spirit of the series -- funny, witty, heartwarming, and an open and honest look at the lives of kids and preteens today. And its "message" fits in well with story without feeling crammed down the reader's throat.Of the main cast of the previous books (Dwight, Tommy, Kellen, and Harvey) there's a notable absence -- Dwight, the eccentric creator of Origami Yoda and dispensor of cryptic but usable advice and predictions, who is now attending a private school. In his absence his next-door neighbor, Sarah, provides her own brand of advice using a modified "cootie catcher" called Chewbacca the Fortune Wookie, and a folded Han Solo puppet named Han Foldo. Naturally, Harvey sets out to prove her advice is full of hogwash, while Tommy is more interested in rumors that Dwight is unhappy in his new school... and that something dire is taking place at McQuarrie Middle School.
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