Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: Darth Paper Strikes Back

I while back, I read a YA reviewer's blog who named Tom Angleberger's The Strange Case of Origami Yoda as her favorite book of the year. This really struck me, since she'd read and reviewed most of my favorite YA titles. I was excited to finally read the series with Son #1, and we just finished the second book, Darth Paper Strikes Back. Son #1 is busy creating a new cereal to promote the book for a book report, and I couldn't let him have all the fun.

The summary, adapted from Goodreads:   NOT SUCH A LONG TIME AGO, IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL NOT SO FAR, FAR AWAY...

Something amazing happened. A weird kid named Dwight made an origami finger puppet of Yoda that gave great advice. He could predict the date of a pop quiz, tell a guy if a girl likes him or not, and keep kids from embarrassing themselves in a dozen different ways. Most of the sixth graders were convinced he was using the Force.

But a year later, Dwight has been suspended and may be expelled, which means no more Origami Yoda. Even worse, Darth Paper, a puppet created by Dwight's nemesis, Harvey, has taken Yoda's place. He spews insults and evil and just may be responsible for getting Dwight kicked out in the first place. Now the kids of McQuarrie are building a case to save Dwight. This is their case file.

The review:

Something amazing DID happen. This book, even more than the first, managed to get Son #1 reading when he didn't HAVE to read. He laughed out loud. (And so did I.) He read chapter after chapter for fun. (And so did I!). Angleberger has an easy, distinctive voice that keeps the pages turning. Perfect for the 8-12 age range, the series is both multi-media and interactive, with illustrations and origami instructions. Those things alone would have made me recommend Darth Paper, but this sequel has so much more.

The characters have unique quirks and believable motivations. The vignettes in the case file could have easily worked by themselves, but the plotting carefully developed one of those great "Ah-ha!" moments in the end in which everything comes together. And just like the reviewer who spurred me to give these books to my son, I really enjoyed Darth Paper as a reader and not just as a mom.

5 out of 5 stars.

Music for today: My Number by Foals



No comments:

Post a Comment