Darth Paper Strikes Back

by Tom Angleberger
ages: 9+
First sentence: “It is a dark time at McQuarrie Middle School…”
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I adored The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (which went on to win last year’s Middle Grade Cybils Award) and so I was more than excited to see that there was a sequel picking up where the story left off.

It’s the beginning of seventh grade and Dwight’s nemesis, Harvy, has brought the dark side to the middle school in the form of Darth Paper. His mission is to convince the believers that Origami Yoda is not real, that while maybe his advice is good, it’s just Dwight being weird. His methods get extreme, and Dwight has ended up suspended and may be expelled. It’s up to his friends Tommy and Kellan to collect “case studies” to prove that Dwight and Origami Yoda are doing good.

In many ways, this book is more of the same: instances in which Origami Yoda helps kids by giving them weird, but ultimately good, advice. And while the stories were amusing and interesting, it didn’t really feel like this book helped the overall story progress much. Everyone was still basically the same: from Dwight and Harvey down to the smaller, minor characters, so I didn’t feel like we were really learning anything new. That said, the book ends with a nice little twist, that almost made up for the “the publisher pushed me into writing a sequel” feeling I had throughout most of the book.

Then again, he’s writing for the middle grade crowd, and they love sequels. It just didn’t quite hold water for me.

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4 thoughts on “Darth Paper Strikes Back

  1. My 12yo son, who “forced” me into reading the original, is now coercing me into reading this one. (It's sitting on my bedside table, and every once in a while it ends up right on my bed – where I can't miss it!) He adored both books!

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