The Strange Case of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

I have to be upfront with you. This review is not about The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. Well, it is, but it’s really about the strange case of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. And it involves Ryan.

Ryan is a 7th-grade student of mine. I’ve known him for about a month now. Ryan, by his own admission, does not like to read. He’s read The Hunger Games and he liked it, but he’s not someone who will read something for him (not because his friends are reading it or there’s a movie coming out).

So one day, Origami Yoda comes into my classroom. Ryan’s ears perk up, much like Origami Yoda’s ears do. He is the first to check the book out.

THE NEXT DAY, Ryan says to the whole class that this book is the best book he’s ever read. EVER. READ. He’s not finished, but already there’s a waiting list growing.

THE NEXT NEXT DAY (actually, the following Monday, because the previous school day was a Friday), Ryan takes advantage of a pause in class to say the following to me: “I just want to thank you for buying this book, because I don’t like to read, and I love this book. A lot. And you have inspired me to read the series. Since you don’t have The Fortune Wookie, I’m going to go buy it.” [Side note: when one student asked him where he was going to buy it, he said Nicola’s Books. Support your local independent bookstores!] At this point, there’s a noticeable buzz in the classroom. Ryan’s classmates know he’s not really a reader. He’s way more concerned about sports (currently: football) than he is about reading. But he is taking the time out of class to sing the praises of a book? There’s gotta be something magical about this book.

And that brings me to my next Ryan-centered point. I am requiring my students to read from different genres this year. So, of course, they’re asking what genre Origami Yoda is. I say it’s realistic fiction. Ryan steps up and says: “Well, maybe. It depends. We don’t really know yet.” [Another side note: at this point in the conversation, Ryan is most of the way through Darth Paper Strikes Back. It’s also been less than a week.]

So now, in a week’s time, Ryan has gone from someone who doesn’t really read to someone able to intelligently discuss the genre qualifications of a book. Oh, and he asked me if I could pass on a note of frustration to Tom Angleberger (and his publisher). So here I shall do so. Ryan is upset that he cannot purchase these books on an e-reader.

I must revise my previous paragraph. In a week’s time, Ryan has gone from someone who doesn’t really read to someone able to intelligently discuss the genre qualifications of a book and is finding himself indignant over the ability to easily purchase the books he needs to feed his now insatiable appetite.

This book is a gem. I don’t know when I’ll see it again on my bookshelves.

 

Oh, did you want a review from me? We’ll go quickly. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is a book about a group of 6th grade friends, one of whom creates an origami finger puppet that looks like Yoda. This finger puppet then begins answering questions, many of which turn out to be right! The book itself is a series of testimonials about Origami Yoda, from those who believe and those who don’t. What is the truth? Read to find out you must.

My rating: 5 out of 5 fish. 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth — Student Review

If you’ve been reading this blog or following me on Goodreads or Twitter, you know my thoughts on Insurgent (hint: I love it!). But it’s a young adult book, so why not have a young adult review it? Well here, on release day, we have that opportunity! One of my 8th graders, Nicole, posted the following review after reading the ARC last week. Enjoy!

Well, I guess book reviews start somewhere, but I can NOT come up with anything good. I can’t express how amazing this book was in any words. EVER. When I first finished it, my first thought was: WOW. (I then proceeded to run around spazzing out). My second thought was: NO, I HAVE TO WAIT A WHOLE YEAR FOR THE NEXT ONE TO COME OUT! HOW IS THIS FAIR? I AM DYING INSIDE!!! I still proceeded to spazz out. So anyways, this book was amazing for many reasons. First, all the emotions. One minute you wanted to laugh out loud, the next you wanted to pee your pants, the next you were freaking out (hoping no one would die), the next moment you were feeling the pain, anger, happiness, and every emotion Tris felt. You felt like you were in the story. You felt like you were in the battles & lived in the factions. I can not express how much I loved this book, so this is as close as I may get. This is definitely not a formal book review. But I just NEEDED to somehow express my feelings for this book.

So there’s my book review. All in all, Insurgent was amazing, astounding, bewildering, breathtaking, extraordinary, impressive, marvelous, miraculous, spectacular, staggering, startling, striking, stunning, stupefying, stupendous, wonderful, and wondrous.
THE END.

Needless to say, she’s pretty excited. Now get out there and read Insurgent!