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Review: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
By Tom Angleberger
Amulet Books
ISBN: 9780810984257
Grades 5-7
In Stores

What’s the next level above gold? Platinum? In both content and appearance, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is reluctant reader platinum. The Star Wars association will draw attention, but the spot-on portrayal of the awkwardness, friendships, and first crushes of 6th grade life will hit home.

The stage is set from the first lines:

The big question: Is origami Yoda real? Well, of course he’s real. I mean, he’s a real finger puppet made out of a real piece of paper. But I mean: Is he REAL? Does he really know things? Can he see the future? Does he use the force?

The evidence is inconclusive. He’s a finger puppet, true, but he also gives out some pretty incredible advice. Or does that advice actually come from Dwight, the outcast who created origami Yoda? Probably not – Dwight’s too weird to actually provide sound council. Tommy is determined to find out if the finger puppet can be trusted. He has a girl dilemma, you see, and needs some help. To get to the bottom of things, he’s put together firsthand accounts of his friends’ helpful, confusing, and odd interactions with Origami Yoda. Each chapter is a new anecdote, from a different perspective. When the middle school dance comes around, Tommy has to decide if he should listen to the tiny Jedi master or not.

Angleberger nails the tone here. The dialogue, the inside jokes, the mindset of an outsider – it just feels authentic. Fans of his solid Qwikpick Adventure Society will find Origami Yoda just as easy to relate to.

The interest level is high, the humor is frequent, and the situations authentic. A winner, appears to be, it does.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Click here to read the author’s take on how this book got made (and how they were able to use Yoda).

The author explains how to make your own origami Yoda in this video:

Also reviewed by Shelf Elf, Books4yourkids, Ms. Yingling Reads.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. meanie. why did you have to make origami yoda ao complicated to make? that is not nice i thin k the book should be cool i am going to get iut s book fair however that not nice to make it so hard

  2. I love the plot of this story and hope to read it soon

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