Origami Star Wars is back! Picking up a few months after The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Tommy and his friends are now in seventh grade. This time, Origami Yoda is a victim rather than savior. Thanks to Harvey the bully (now sporting his own Darth Paper finger puppet),
Dwight’s been suspended from school and may be expelled for good. So it’s up to his friends (with help from emergency 5-fold Yoda)
to save Dwight from doom (“The truth for the school board you must write. Another case file is needed”):
I don’t often say this about sequels, but Darth Paper is as good as its predecessor. Angleberger perfectly captures the wackiness of junior high (exploding bagel pizzas of love! poisonous cafeteria hot dogs! even a fundraiser where students are forced to peddle overpriced popcorn tins, which reminds me of my high school’s ill-advised attempt to sell flimsy beach towels). I particularly enjoyed the margin doodles, though I think they should erase the teacher/Star Wars caricatures before giving the case file to the school board (if you’ve ever wanted to see Jabba the Hutt on a skateboard, turn to page 34—it’s not a pretty sight).
The book also takes a jab at standardized testing. Dwight’s school would be glad for any excuse to get rid of him, because the Star Wars-quoting, diablo-flinging Dwight is, well, different. And anyone who distracts from the almighty Standards of Learning doesn’t belong. It was great to see Dwight’s friends rally around him. They’re mature enough to accept his differences while realistically kid-like to pout over video games. We learn more about Harvey, too, and I wanted to read even more about him, to better understand his motivations. Still, that’s a minor nitpick in an otherwise excellent book.
And now the stage is set for future sequels, should they exist. The possibilities are endless: Return to the Jedi Fold, Jabba the Flat, and my personal favorite—origami Princess Leia, complete with paper cinnamon bun hair…