Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel. - synopsis taken from Goodreads

I wasn't going to review this book because, while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away by it. But then something happened. I put the book on my bookshelf after I finished reading it and kids were clamoring for it. Everyday I would have a different student ask for it.

This got me to thinking. Books don't always have to be well-written. They don't even have to have a good story. Sometimes they just have to have some sort of unifier - something that will get kids talking and that attracts them toward the book.

At my school, the popularity of this book intensified a few days ago when one of my students came to the end of the book, saw the instructions to make her own origami Yoda, and now I've got a bunch of junior high students walking around with Yodas on their fingers - including their teacher:

So even though I give the actual story three stars, I'm going to give the idea 5 stars because middle grade kids are eating this book up.

1 comment:

  1. I love picturing your students walking around with Yodas on their fingers!