Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Monday, March 17, 2014

Plot Summary:
It all started with Dwight and his Origami Yoda. Tommy, Kellan, Mike, Cassie, Lance, Quovondo, and Harvey have written down their experiences with Yoda/green paperwad. Although Dwight is a bit of a weirdo, his origami Yoda might have special powers to not only tell the future, but provide some pretty solid advice. For example, it was Yoda who helped Tommy make the right decision about whether or not he should ask a girl to dance at the PTA dance. Yoda also helped Kellan take care of the water fountain and pants issue while Mike was able to break his strikeout streak. As for Sara, well Yoda provided his advice that not only was not only weird, but ended up with her having a great time with her lonely grandmother. Although Origami Yoda seems like the real deal, the group skeptic (named Harvey) always has to add his own commentary to each story, which leads to the argument about Dwight and how every character sees Dwight. Although Harvey is a jerk, he does make a reasonable assessment of Dwight who is a genius on minute and a complete weirdo the next; Sara, who has known Dwight her whole life, testify to Dwight's eccentricities (he would dig holes and sit in them because Origami Yoda said to). Well, one day, when Tommy, Kellan, Mike, and Harvey got into an argument about Dwight, the mission to document the success of Origami Yoda has revealed a very important question: Is Dwight be weird on purpose or is her really weird? In this hilarious tale of a group of friends who want nothing more than to fit in and be liked, are they so desperate that they will consult Origami Yoda and Dwight to make crucial decisions about life?

Critical Evaluation:
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is amazing. Along with the tween humor, and issues, readers go on a journey to prove the power of Origami Yoda or his maker, Dwight. The best part about this story is that every character has an individual story where they are so desperate that they confess their fears to Origami Yoda and Dwight. Dwight is the hero of this story because he has endured countless insults for walking around school with a finger puppet, but, at the same time, everyone is seeking Yoda's advice. I can honestly say that Harvey annoyed me sooooo much because he had absolutely nothing nice to say about Dwight or anyone else in the story. Although it sets up the next story, and Harvey is the villain, each character does something remarkable: they allowed themselves to be vulnerable. As we read each case study, all of these tweens have a fear or a concern. Granted, the last person they want to share their problems with is Dwight and his finger puppet, they needed to hear someone, or something, to tell them that everything is going to be okay. Although I don't condone fighting, I was impressed with Dwight when he hears about Caroline's problem with Zack Martin; he was her Knight in Shining Armor not because she was a girl, but because she was being picked on. One thing about this age group is that words really do hurt so I definitely felt Dwight's pain when people would call him weird or a loser. Furthermore, other than standing up for Caroline, he would deny his "friends" access to Yoda because they would be mean to him and expect him to help them. Readers of all ages will realize just how difficult these years are because everything is new: school, liking the opposite sex, making friends, and fitting in. I am happy to say that this book had the perfect ending and I am looking forward to the sequel!

Information about the Author:
According to his wordpress:
Tom Angleberger NOT Anglebooger!!!!!!!!
Age: secret
Birthday: Oct. 24
Location: secret
Toothpaste: secret
Home state: Virginia
Security Clearance: AlphaShadow1
Pen of Choice: Pilot G2 gel roller! 1.0 used for everyday doodling, .7 used for illustrating the Origami Yoda books.
Previous occupations: newspaper reporter and columnist, juggler, weed boy, lawn mower part assembler, biology research assistant (bug larvae and plant diseases)
Current occupation: author and illustrator, keeper of origamiyoda.com (with Webmaster Sam)
First novel: Begun in 8th grade, never completed.
Published or about to be published novels: Qwikpick, Stonewall, Origami Yoda, Horton Halfpott, Darth Paper, Fake Mustache, Secret of the [[top secret]].
Spouse: author and illustrator Cece Bell!
Tom sez: “I’m not necessarily all that creative. I’m more of a puzzle putter together. I take all these little puzzle pieces — Yoda, middle school problems, Cheetos — and I fuss and fuss with them until I fit them together.”
Inspirations: Star Wars, Fumiaki Kawahata, Daniel Pinkwater, my own personal social disasters…
SuperPower: Aspergers!
 
Genre:
Tween Fiction, Tween Humor

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 4 & up

Books Similar to The Strange Case of Origami Today:
Awards & Recognition:
  • Positive Review from School Library Journal
  • Positive Review from Booklist

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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