The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

by Tom Angleberger

Hardcover, 2010



Local notes

Fic Ang






Harry N. Abrams (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 160 pages


Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.


Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 2012)
Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award (First runner-up — 2012)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2013)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 2013)
Georgia Children's Book Award (Finalist — 2012)
Great Stone Face Book Award (Nominee — 2012)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Children's Fiction — 2012)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 3-5 — 2012)
Sasquatch Book Award (Nominee — 2013)
William Allen White Children's Book Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2012-2013)
Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2012)
Nēnē Award (Nominee — 2013)
Nevada Young Readers' Award (Nominee — 2014)
Oregon Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — 2013)
Land Of Enchantment Book Award (Winner — Children's — 2013)
Virginia Readers' Choice (Nominee — Middle School — 2012)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — 2013)
NCSLMA YA Book Award (Winner — Middle School — 2011)
CYBILS Awards (Winner — 2010)
South Carolina Book Awards (Nominee — Children's Book Award — 2013)
E.B. White Read-Aloud Award (Winner — 2011)
Virginia Literary Awards (Winner — 2011)
Children's Favorites Awards (Selection — 2011)
The Best Children's Books of the Year (Nine to Twelve — 2011)
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best: Kids (Fiction for Younger Readers — 2010)

Original publication date


Physical description

160 p.; 8.3 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member mt256
While walking through the bookstore my son spotted this book. He picked it up and started to read it immediately. Needless to say we left the bookstore with The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. My son was so entranced with this book he wanted to read it whenever he could. For some kids this is the
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norm. For my son, it's not. He is a reluctant reader. I'm forever on the hunt for books that I think he would like. This book was a success.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is about a boy, Dwight who makes himself an Origami Yoda. Dwight brings his paper masterpiece to school and places it on his finger and starts talking in a strange voice. Well technically it's Dwight but the strange voice is Yoda's. Yoda starts to distribute advice to fellow students. When some of the advice Yoda dishes out works, more of his classmates seek out his help. This book is in the form of case files compiled by two of Dwight's classmates. Tommy thinks there is a distinct possibility that Origami Yoda can be real while Harvey believes it's all a bunch of hooey. The case files they put together are the stories and testimonies of Dwight's classmates.
As I mentioned my son loves this book. I borrowed this book after he was finished reading so I could see for myself what was so great about this book. This book is funny. At times laugh out loud funny. Tom Angleberger definitely has a sense of humor and it shows through out this book. It also goes a bit deeper then humor. Dwight is an odd kid. He steps to the beat of his own drum. For that reason he gets picked on. Dwight gives some of the mean kids a taste of their own medicine by getting them back. Not necessarily by picking a fight but by using his head. This book encompasses themes such as being yourself, believing in magic, and peer pressure.
I really enjoyed this book. If you know or have a reluctant reader you might want to give this book a try. It's a fun read. Also in the back Tom Angleberger includes instructions on how to make your own Origami Yoda. My son and I both tried it. I can honestly say, origami is not my thing. However I did have fun trying to make my own.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
June 2014 Great Middle Grade Reads botm.

Just light fun, ultimately. The ideas have been done before, but the package presentation is fresh and that's a Good Thing for the right audience. If you've got readers who aren't moving much beyond Wimpy Kid, this is like taking the training wheels off the
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little kids' bike. If you are already on a big kids' bike, don't bother with this. My opinion.
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LibraryThing member readingthruthenight
Dwight is a wee bit odd. He's that kid in middle school that says the wrong things, mismatches his clothes, wears a cape because he thinks it's cool, and is the only one laughing at his jokes. Oh and he also has an origami Yoda on his finger that gives advice.

Sixth grader Tommy is trying to compile
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evidence to prove one way or another if Yoda is real. Which leads to the "Strange Case" part of the title. Tommy has interviewed his buddies about their interaction with Dwight and his Yoda puppet.

This is a pretty cute book and I can see how it would work for younger tweens. I know it's marketed toward middle grades, but my inclination is to almost recommend it to 3rd - 5th graders. It's definitely a grabber for some reluctant boys but it's one of those books that sorta remind me of an after school special, Nickelodeon style. There's the silliness but definitely THE LESSON of not judging odd people in school.
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LibraryThing member hfc12
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is a fictitious illustrated novel written by Tom Angleberger set in a shool.

This illustrated novel is written from the perspective of a group of adolescents, mainly one named Tommy, who is trying to figure out if an origami yoda that made by his classmate is real or
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just a hoax. He has gathered a number of stories from the class that involve origami yoda's advice being given and calls on his friend Harvey to give criticism.

The anecdotes are mostly humorous and involve experiences that most middle school age children and above will understand. The stories are written with the specific dialect of each narrator, and the personality of each comes out through it well, which allows the reader to easily relate to them. The book brings up plenty of social issues that kids come across in school, such as bullying, redemption, and greed. I agree with most of the opinions the social issues, but not necessarily the one about redemption, as it involves a kid giving into peer pressure when he was not necessarily wrong. However, most of the morals taught are spot on, and there is some good advice in the book as well.

Teaching Connections:
-Discuss whether the advice of Origami Yoda is good advice in each case.
-Help the students consider whether Dwight is really "weird" or if he is just different and intelligent.
-Have them think about people they know that are similar to the characters in the book, but not discuss it between each other

This book is very entertaining and a pleasure to read even as an adult. The characters are well-developed and very easy for young adults to relate to. Some of the morals and lessons taught by Origami Yoda can be helpful to adolescents in times of social crisis. This book would be great for any adolescent student to read.
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LibraryThing member Jacob_Kent
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is a fiction illustrated novel written by Tom Angleberger.

Tommy is a sixth grader who hangs out with a less popular crowd. One evening, at a middle school dance, his friends encourage him to ask one of the girls to dance. But before he goes, they convince him to
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ask Origami Yoda whether he should go through with it or not. Origami Yoda is a finger puppet made by Dwight, the group's strangest friend, and he advises Tommy not to ask her. Much to the group's surprise, Yoda turns out to be wise in his advice. The rest of the book, Tommy collects stories from countless witnesses(classmates) to figure out if Origami Yoda is real, or if it really is just Dwight making up a bunch of nonsense.

I thought this was a very entertaining read because of the layout of the chapters. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a classmate, so the views and thoughts on Origami Yoda change throughout the book. This helps with the development of each character. I think the author discusses several themes throughout the book. Bullying, discrimination, individuality, and peer pressure are all common throughout the text. The main character is in a constant struggle between accepting Dwight's strange personality, or publicly denouncing Dwight's quirkiness for the sake of his image. This book reminded me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid mainly because they are both illustrated novels about the unpopular crowd.

Teaching Connections:
1. Let every student make a list of their own personal characteristics that might not be accepted socially. This would be a contemplative exercise in which no one else sees the lists.
2. Compare/Contrast with Diary of a Wimpy Kid
3. Discuss the inner conflict that Tommy has. What would you do in that situation?

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is a great read for young adults. It focuses on common struggles in the middle school and high school environments and may act as a guide to accepting others. I would teach this book; I think most students would find it enjoyable.
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LibraryThing member asomers
This would be a great book club choice. I love how the story unfolds from different points of view. The dialog and situations are very true to life, and the story will really appeal to tweens.
LibraryThing member JRlibrary
My librarian gut instinct tells me that many of the readers who love Diary of a Wimpy Kid will also love this one! Angleberger has created a really lovable character in Dwight, the puppeteer of the green Origami Yoda. The paper finger puppet gives out infallible advice to Dwight's classmates. The
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answers to their questions is always given in "Yoda-speak" which means that any reader who has seen Yoda in a Star Wars movie will easily hear his voice in their head while reading the answers given by the puppet. The story is told through case files selected by the narrator, Tommy. The end of each case file is always commented on by the resident skeptic, Harvey, who does not believe in the mystic power of the finger Yoda.
Fun be this book.
Love it both males and females will.
More copies buy, I must.
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LibraryThing member meisbres
Are you looking for a good book to read now you've finished The Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Look no further, Origami Yoda is here! Origami Yoda is a finger puppet made by this really weird middle schooler named Dwight. Dwight is the kind of nerd who wears the same t-shirt all month, wipes up spills in
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the cafeteria by scooting across the floor on his stomach, or only answers "purple" when you ask him a question. The thing is Dwight's paper puppet can predict the future and suggest the best way to handle a tricky situation. There's no way Dwight is that smart. So is Origami Yoda magic? The students of McQuarrie Middle School want to know so they start a case file to discover the truth. Check out their stories and related cartoons by reading The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.
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LibraryThing member kikotomo
Dwight is an odd kid - he digs holes in his back yard and sits in them for hours, answers yes or no questions with the word "purple", and hides under the lunch tables for no particular reason. However, Dwight is the creator of the original Origami Yoda finger puppet and has most of the 6th grade
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believing that it can read peoples' minds and tell the future. Tommy, Dwight's friend, needs to know how much Origami Yoda can be trusted because his reputation is on the line. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is Tommy's case file to discover the truth behind Origami Yoda. A simple, fun, easy to read novel. Although the plot is a little predictable, the light-hearted humor in this book will keep the pages turning.
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LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
Origami Yoda may or may not be real, and his advice may or may not be any good, but he sure makes things interesting. This is a story of fitting in and standing out in middle school, the relationships between the friends and adversaries are wonderfully drawn. I enjoyed the mostly male point of
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view, and while the ending was a bit tidy, it was satisfying.
I'd give this to people looking for funny middle school stories, especially those who would appreciate the illustrated format.
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LibraryThing member skstiles612
The setup of this book was fabulous. It is told through the interview of students who have been helped by the advice of Origami Yoda. It has comments by Tommy, and his friend Harvey who has never believed in Origami Yoda.

Tommy is trying to prove whether Origami Yoda is real or not. Who is Origami
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Yoda you ask? He is the origami finger puppet created and worn by the most uncool kid of the school. When Origami Yoda gives his first piece of advice and it turns out to be right on, everyone starts asking Origami Yoda for advice. Tommy must figure out if he is real or not so that he doesn't make a fool of himself in front of a girl. I believe not only will boys eat this book up, but girls will find it funny and enjoyable.
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LibraryThing member KathyEllenDavis
Loved this book! Is Origami Yoda real? Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. Tommy is trying to figure that out in a very scientific way, collecting "case files" from everyone who has talked to Origami Yoda. Funny, real life situations that happen to kids this age, and great commentary by his friends, in
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the form of comments from the naysayer (who has never believed in Origami Yoda, by the way) and drawings of characters in the story. Fast read; kids and adults will like it and can even learn to make their own Origami Yoda!!
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LibraryThing member KarenBall
t McQuarrie Middle School, kids are getting advice on problems from Origami Yoda. Some say he can predict the future -- and even use The Force. Others scoff, and say it's just a wad of green paper on the finger of the 6th grade's ultimate loser, Dwight. But Dwight couldn't possibly come up with
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decent advice for anyone since he can't seem to manage anything except math... right? Tommy needs help with a girl, and if he's going to take Origami Yoda's advice, he needs to know if this phenomenon is real. He collects the stories of students who have talked to Origami Yoda and taken the Jedi-ish advice, lets Harvey the skeptic comment on the stories, and Kellen doodles all over the pages as they try to scientifically (sort of) determine if Tommy should take the advice. Laugh-out-loud funny, with great characters and a truly original plot! Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans will love this one. Includes instructions for creating your own origami Yoda at the end. 6th grade and up.
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LibraryThing member YAMaven
What a hoot! I can see kids who enjoy Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books enjoying this one.
LibraryThing member blancaflor
Pretty much awesome. When I say that I would recommend this book for any fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, I don't in any way mean that it's a boring copy of the middle school experience that uses boring self-centered character to carry the story. The Origami Yoda idea is so creative and
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incredibly quirky. Even possibly, genius. The book design is gimmicky of course, but in a way that enhances the story line. The author does a great job compiling the voices of different narrators, making them sound authentic and individual. The idea of the novel being composed of a file of case notes was a creative way to handle the plot line. I absolutely loved this book. I think teachers and librarians and kids should be finding out about this book and be putting it in the hands of young readers. I can't wait to read more by Tom Angleberger, and I hope it is just as enjoyable.

*Bonus: Being a fan of Star Wars is in no way a requirement to read this book. Star Wars seems such a part of our cultural identity that I hate the series and my eyes glaze over in boredom at the thought of watching one of the movies. (horror. shock. I know.) However minimal knowledge of the series may be helpful extensive knowledge is not really required to enjoy the wisdom of Origami Yoda.
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LibraryThing member Knicke
Goofy, like 6th graders often are. Somewhat true-to-life as far as the social dynamics go. A lot of the conversation rang mostly true, as least as far as I can remember from my days in sixth grade (long ago). I'm pretty sure the book design will be appealing to kids, and throwing Yoda into the mix
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makes it an even easier sell.Nothing too heavy here, but not completely fluffy either. Me gusta!
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LibraryThing member a.libraryann
One of my favorite books this year is The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. It is about a group of students just starting middle school. They are trying to fit in amd make new friends. Dwight is doing well in his classes, but stands out as an oddball. The other students are curious, though, when Dwight
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makes an origami Yoda, wears it on his finger, and starts giving advice in the strange voice of Yoda. Can Origami Yoda really predict the future? Will his advice about tricky situations (like how to talk to girls) really work? Is he tapping into the Force, or is Dwight much smarter than anyone suspects? Read this fun book and decide for yourself!
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LibraryThing member CatheOlson
Cute middle-grade novel about a misfit sixth-grade boy who creates an Origami Yoda which he wears on his finger. Yoda starts giving advice to his classmates--and the advice is very good. When he gives Tommy advice about a very tricky situation, Tommy puts together a case file to help him decide if
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he should follow Yoda's advice or not.This is a fun, fast read--good for 4-6th graders, a good choice for reluctant readers as well.
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LibraryThing member librarianm
Can an origami puppet really tell the future or know if the person you like likes you back? That's exactly what Tommy and the rest of the 6th grade at McQuarrie Middle School are trying to find out. Dwight, the weird guy that every class has, has an Origami Yoda that dispenses advice. But can it
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really tell the future or know the answers to everyone's questions? Tommy, with the help of his friends Harvey and Kellan, set out to find out.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda was a fun, quick read that let the reader draw its own conclusions about the title character. Um, yes I'm counting the Origami Yoda as a character, he (it?) did give advice to most of the 6th graders who asked. Plus, look at him all Zen like on the cover. Speaking of the cover check out this blog post about all the changes it went through from the initial concept to the final cover.

So, all of the references to Star Wars were a huge plus for me, I can't even count how many times I've seen episodes 4, 5, and 6, but that's not why I liked this book so much. Mr. Angleberger really gets the awkwardness of being in sixth grade and because of this the characters came across as very real. Even though there were a lot of characters, some only appeared for a chapter, they were all very distinct.

I also really liked the structure of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. The case files that Tommy puts together as he investigates Origami Yoda and his advice break the information (and story) into manageable pieces. Plus, the comments and doodles from Harvey and Kellan were often funnier than Tommy's insight.

I would recommend The Strange Case of Origami Yoda to fans of funny stories. Even though it's been marketed as a middle grades book, I can see anyone from second graders to adults really enjoying it. The directions at the back of the book for how to make your own Origami Yoda are a nice addition, making it a great choice for book clubs or even a class read aloud since there is an activity built right in. Don't want to follow written instructions? There's a video too!
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LibraryThing member kayceel
Told in various voices, but 'compiled' by one 6th grade boy, Tommy, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is an investigation into the possibly magical properties of an origami finger puppet. Dwight, the designated 'weird' kid at school since the 3rd grade, has an obsession with origami, but when his
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Yoda finger begins giving out sage advice and predicting the future, Dwight becomes a bit famous by association. Tommy has his friends (and a few others) document their experiences with the advice and the finger puppet in an attempt to figure out whether Yoda is indeed magical.

This funny, light story would be a good read for the upper elementary crowd - those older than 6th grade might feel it beneath them, though...

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LibraryThing member soulesister
Kids who are a bit "different" may enjoy this book, especially those Star Wars fans! The only problem I had with this book was that it is being "narrated" by a variety of sixth grade students, but the voice behind each was not strong enough to differentiate one from the other. I had to keep going
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back to the beginning of each chapter to figure out who was telling the story.
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LibraryThing member ThinkOne
Loved it. Similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. :)
LibraryThing member andrenh
A weird child named Dwight in 6th Grade makes a puppet of Yoda from paper. A small green alien from star wars. The amazing thing is Dwight is so weird and crazy, While origami Yoda is very smart and helps them solve problems. Tommy Dwight's friend is trying to figure out if Yoda is real or a trick.
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Tommy wants Yoda's advice about a girl he likes called sara.
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LibraryThing member mporterf
Awesome book--whole family in stitches!
LibraryThing member smheatherly2
This fast read comedy about the power of superstition is a fun read. Dwight is a "loser" but doesn't care what the other sixth-graders think, he is his own person. By getting others to realize that it's who you are and not where you are in the population change, his friends start to realize what a
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really "cool" kid entails. The pictures are great, too!
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½ (424 ratings; 3.8)
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