(We regret to inform you that no lightsabers will be used.)
Navigating the twists and turns of middle school is hard. You have tough classes, (Sith-like) bullies, friends, and more coming your way. It is hard to know what to do, and there seems to be a rule for almost everything. You need a Jedi Master to help you not mess up.
The Origami Yoda books take place at McQuarrie Middle School, where an oddball named Dwight shows up with an origami puppet in the form of Yoda himself! Dwight (or should I say Yoda?) gives Jedi-quality advice in all sorts of situations. His friends Tommy, Kellen, and others are making a case file to decide if Origami Yoda uses the mysterious “force,” or if Dwight is not who they thought he was. Filled with Harvey’s “scientific explanations for what happened” and Kellen’s drawings, this realistic fiction book is great for anyone who is looking for a quick laugh.
In the Jedi Academy books, however, Roan Novachez of Tatooine doesn’t need a puppet for advice. He has our little green friend (Yoda) as a teacher! Roan is rejected from pilot school, his only dream in life. Things aren’t looking too good. Then a letter arrives from the elusive Jedi Academy on Coroscant, accepting Roan into Jedi training. All the other kids have been in Jedi Academy since they were younger, so Roan gets made fun of by the class bullies. He has a hard time with classes, doesn’t really fit in at first, and is just kind of lost.
Overall . . .
Origami Yoda is easy to read, extremely funny, and talks about realistic kids. I immensely enjoy this series and read it over and over again. The plot follows the episodes of Star Wars a little more. Jedi Academy more accurately describes bullies, tough classes, and fitting in with others kids. Actually set in the Star Wars galaxy, this series depicts the creatures and customs of movies.
What do you think: Does a puppet sound good, or does having Yoda as a teacher appeal more?
Beata, Scholastic Kids Council