The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett (Origami Yoda book 4)
Author: Tom Angleberger
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Abrams (6 Sep 2013)
‘Dark times have fallen on McQuarrie Middle School. Dwight’s back—and not a moment too soon, as the gang faces the Fun Time Menace: a new educational program designed to raise students’ standardized test scores. Instead, it’s driving everyone crazy with its obnoxious videos of Professor Fun Time and his insidious singing calculator! When Principal Rabbski cancels the students’ field trip—along with art, music, and LEGO classes—to make time for Fun Time, the students turn to Origami Yoda for help. But some crises are too big for Origami Yoda to handle alone: ‘form a Rebel Alliance the students must.’ United, can they defeat the Fun Time Menace and cope with a surprise attack from Jabba the Puppett?’
Angleberger’s Origami Yoda books have a large readership in the age 8 to 14 age category and it’s easy to see why, the short length of the books and the easy to read format appeals to reluctant readers. The characters and the situations are witty, likeable and relatable. Also there are instructions to make your own puppets, in this book you can make our own Jabba puppet and Ewok Puppet. Angleberger’s Origami Yoda books have the look, and even the feel, of harmless Star Wars fun. And at the end of the day, I suppose that’s what they are to most young readers. However, Angleberger also manages to tackle real world issues in a way that’s not overtly confrontational. Whether it’s the issue of standardized school testing, religion or home environments; for instance, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to a student whose mother forbids him to socialize with the other children, as she’s a conservative Christian, and doesn’t want him worshipping false idols, i.e. a puppet that can use the force, not a subject matter you would expect to see in a children’s book. Adults may find some unexpected food for thought in these pages.
I honestly don’t know how to categorize these books; they are too wonderfully complicated to pigeon hole into just your ordinary generic children’s book category. Although I laughed at many points while reading this book, I was also impressed at the complexity of the situation faced by the Rebel Alliance. After all the kids aren’t just fighting their principal but a system that began in Washington. Angleberger really played up the importance of having a cause worth fighting for and it was inspiring to see the children banding together to fight injustice.
This series could easily have been a Star Wars themed money grab, however as the series progresses we get a very intriguing message about the systems our schools use for education as well as more instructions on how to make our very own Star Wars Puppets!! I really enjoyed this book, in fact the only thing I didn’t love was the cliffhanger ending, but I did love that it means another book is in the works.
Other books in this series include- The Strange case of origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Secret of The Fortune Wookiee and Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling: An Origami Yoda Activity Book.
4 out of 5 Nerds