Tom Angleberger’s middle grades novel The Strange Case of Origami Yoda was finally in at the library when I was, so I checked it out to see if the buzz was true. I’m here to attest, it’s totally true. This book is pretty excellent. I’ve read a number of reviewers who’ve said that it reminded them of their middle school experience. I can’t say that, but the way that Tommy, Dwight, Harvey and the other characters in the book act reminded me a lot of middle schoolers I’ve known over the years. The author got that mix of grown up emotions and deep thoughts with childish play and immaturity that can characterize middle schoolers just right.
The story centers around an origami Yoda who acts as an oracle for the 6th graders. Different characters share what happened when they followed Origami Yoda’s advice. A variety of different fonts, as well as an assortment of doodles and back and forth comments pepper the text. As Tommy, the principal narrator, tries to figure out if Origami Yoda can really see the future, he tackles some big questions about faith and romance.
I laughed out loud reading this one. I think fans of lightweight books like the Wimpy Kid novels as well as more complex stories may both find something to enjoy in this short novel.