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Book review: Origami Yoda returns for more middle-school fun in 'Jabba the Puppett'

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 6:01 a.m. MDT

"The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett" is the latest in the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. (Abrams Publishing)

"THE SURPRISE ATTACK OF JABBA THE PUPPETT: An Origami Yoda Book," by Tom Angleberger, Amulet Books, $12.95, 208 pages (f) (ages 9-12)

In this fourth "episode" of the Origami Yoda books, Dwight has returned to McQuarrie Middle School just when his friends need him most. Principal Rabbski's new FunTime curriculum is supposed to ensure every student will achieve greater test scores than ever before.

The only catch is that in order to make room for FunTime, there is no more fun at school — no more art, music or drama. Dwight is determined to restore true fun and happiness to the empire, so he begins to recruit the team he needs to accomplish his mission.

Origami Yoda is back in action in Tom Angleberger's "The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett," doling out advice to save his classmates from their own middle-school quandaries and, at the same time, fight the dark side of mind-rotting FunTime.

Tom Angleberger is this author of the Origami Yoda series for middle grade readers, the latest of which is Tom Angleberger is this author of the Origami Yoda series for middle grade readers, the latest of which is "The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett." He will be in Salt Lake City and Provo on Oct. 19 for book events. (Provided by Abrams Publishing)

Subterfuge recruiting, lengthy petitions and Jedi discipline are all strategies used by the rebel alliance. However, when Principal Rabbski threatens to call his mother, Dwight resigns as a leader in the cause. Without Dwight, Origami Yoda asks Foldy-Wan Kenobi to carry on in his stead.

Educators and students sometimes have conflicting agendas, particularly during middle school and high school. The students attending McQuarrie Middle School try common tactics: petitions, letters, begging and even pleading. Nothing seems to be working. But when Jabba the Puppett makes a surprise appearance, the alliance finally has an ally with the same common enemy: FunTime. But the question remains if the alliance can bring peace and true fun back to McQuarrie Middle School.

This to-be-continued installment in the Origami Yoda series is speckled with some mild bathroom humor and classic middle-school social issues. The book's ending leaves eager anticipation for Angleberger's next book, which requires a level of security clearance not yet available to the public.

"Jabba the Puppett" is filled with doodles in the margins, folding instructions at the end and lots of "Star Wars" action all along. Great talking points for families include proper conflict resolution and respectfully disagreeing with authority figures. With more characters than ever before filling the story, readers are sure to find a friend in the pages, and the story will resonate with fans of all ages.

Earlier this year, Angleberger also released "Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling" that includes instructions for Star Wars doodles, origami and other games and activities.

If you go ...

What: Teen Book Fest with Tom Angleberger

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo

550 North University Avenue Provo Web: www.provolibrary.com, origamiyoda.com

Notes: Tickets available to Provo Library patrons

Also ...

What: Tom Angleberger book signing

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, origamiyoda.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of one of his books from The King’s English.

Holly Papa is a graduate of Brigham Young University's business management program. She reviews literature for children of all ages at bookscoops.wordpress.com and her email is hollybookscoops@ymail.com.

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