Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger
Last year a book came to my attention that went by the rather odd title of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. It was about a boy who dispensed Jedi wisdom through an origami Yoda perched on his finger, and his friends’ quest to find out if the paper puppet was actually the real deal. I never got around to reading it, but if I had my own origami Yoda, I know it would have said, ‘Read it, you should.’
So this year, when the sequel Darth Paper Strikes Back came into the shop, I knew I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity a second time. This book is presented as a case file: Dwight, the owner of the Origami Yoda, has found himself in trouble at school after a piece of Yoda’s wisdom was misinterpreted. Now, it’s up to Tommy and the rest of Dwight’s friends to put together an argument about why Dwight should not be sent to the dreaded Correctional and Remedial Education Facility. The result is a collection of hilarious stories in which Origami Yoda saves the kids from certain (and social) doom. But when Dwight’s nemesis Harvey turns up to school one day with an origami Darth Vader, it seems as though his powers of the dark side may overwhelm them all.
I really think this may be one of my favourite books of the year. The characters in it are so likeable, and the humourous comments from Harvey partnered with Kellen’s illustrations around the borders really help to bring the whole story alive. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but even I got most of the references in here, so I can only imagine how much fun a real fan will have with these books. Darth Paper Strikes Back is perfect for readers aged eight and up who might be struggling with finding a book that captivates them.
Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton where she organises the kids and Young Adult e-newsletters. She also writes books for younger readers under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League series and other books here and follow her on twitter - @hj_harper.