Darth Paper Strikes Back
An Origami Yoda Book
By Tom Angleberger
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Darth Paper Strikes Back was extraordinarily entertaining. Granted, I went into it without much as far as expectations go. I was unsure how much I was going to enjoy a young adult novel, especially a sequel to another one I had never read. But, lo and behold, it was cute and I found myself reminiscing about my middle school years. Not that I had a lot of Star Wars stuff or anything. Okay, maybe I did, don’t judge me! But in all honesty, the book deals more with interpersonal relations between students than with anything Lucasfilm-ish.
The book is written in a journal/case file style, with short chapters written by different students in relation to the overall theme: Dwight, possessor of Origami Yoda, is being expelled. Additional notes from Harvey, Dwight’s nemesis and bringer of the Sith puppet Darth Paper, bring a bit of sarcasm and humor to the book. As we see the world through the eyes of the pre-teens, we get the opportunity to relive the drama of junior high. I cannot decide if that’s a good thing or not.
The plot is pretty direct, as we would expect since it’s geared towards young adult readers. I loved the Star Wars references, especially the tips being doled out by Dwight via his little Yoda. Astute observations on his part enabled him to dispense advice appropriately. His somewhat cryptic means of doing so are responsible for his predicament. The story is very contained and has a nice twist at the end.
I would recommend this to anyone seeking to buy a gift for kids in the ten to fourteen age group, especially if they are fans of science fiction. It took me barely an hour to read the whole thing, diagrams and all. Not to say it wasn’t a fun read, but it’s definitely for the juvenile set. I passed it off to my 12-year-old and seemed to be a hit. He said he hadn’t read the first one but would look into finding it.
So, in summation: a good, fun read for the middle school Star Wars fan. Tom Angleberger has done a fine job with this one, hope he keeps them coming. Two side notes before I go. First, the book includes folding techniques for both Darth Paper and Origami Yoda. Second, while I was writing this the television show Psych premiered with “Shawn Rescues Darth Vader.” Coincidence? I think not.
Darth Paper Strikes Back made it on to Geeks of Doom’s 2011 Holiday Geek Gift Guide Books Edition.