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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda Hardcover – Mar 1 2010


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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda + Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book + The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (March 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984257
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Applying for a job as a newspaper artist, Tom Angleberger was mistakenly assigned to cover local government meetings. Fifteen years and countless town council meetings later, he is still writing instead of drawing, currently as a columnist for the Roanoke Times in Roanoke, Virginia. He began work on his first book while in middle school. Tom is married to author-illustrator Cece Bell. They live in Christianburg, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OranguTang on May 30 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was waiting awhile for this book and it was even better because I just finished watching the two Star Wars trilogies again. It's a very cute book and I would highly recommend it for anyone who liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid... it's written in short diary-ish form with drawings in the sides and even though, different kids add their parts to the story, the main story itself flows really nicely. It won't surprise me if this becomes a YRCA pick... buy it for your kids, buy it for yourself, get it from the library... just read it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amedeo Tritto on July 11 2011
Format: Hardcover
Bought this book for my 8 year old son as summer vacation is now in full swing. He finished the book in 3 days!

He especially loved the detailed instruction on how to create an origami yoda puppet!

Highly recommend for any Star Wars fan or just an avid reader with a big imagination!
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By JDG123 on Jan. 1 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Origami yoda was a very creative book good for ages 9-12. It was Intense at the end. Very good book
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By Gina on Dec 16 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
my kids love this series :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 192 reviews
151 of 171 people found the following review helpful
Vastly entertaining... but... Aug. 28 2010
By M. Heiss - Published on Amazon.com
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!
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-I was really captured by this book. March 6 2010
By Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
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
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Buy this book you must, enjoy it you shall! March 31 2010
By Earl - Published on Amazon.com
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!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious middle school fun Feb. 27 2010
By Maggie Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The reviews are strong in this one June 15 2010
By E. R. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
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. 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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