Review: Darth Paper Strikes Back (Origami Yoda, #2) by Tom Angleberger

book reviewing-01

darth paperTitle: Darth Paper Strikes Back
Author: Tom Angleberger
Series: Origami Yoda, #2
Date(s) read: January 26 – 27, 2013
Genre: Middle Grade humour
Source: Library (Hardcover)

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NOT SUCH A LONG TIME AGO, IN A MIDDLE SCHOOL NOT SO FAR, FAR AWAY…

Something amazing happened. A weird kid named Dwight made an origami finger puppet of Yoda. (That wasn’t the amazing thing–just typical Dwight weirdness.) the amazing thing was that Origami Yoda gave great advice. He could predict the date of a pop quiz, tell a guy if a girl likes him or not, and keep kids from embarrassing themselves in a dozen different ways. Most of the sixth graders were convinced he was using the Force.

But now, a year later, it’s a dark time at McQuarrie Middle School. Dwight has been suspended and may be expelled, which means no more Origami Yoda. Even worse, Darth Paper, a puppet created by Dwight’s nemesis, Harvey, has taken Yoda’s place. He spews insults and evil and just may be responsible for getting Dwight kicked out in the first place. Now the kids of McQuarrie are trying to build a case to save Dwight. This is their case file.

my thoughts-01

Like I had said in my review of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, I need to read Middle Grade books more. Darth Paper Strikes Back, the second installment in this series, had all the charm and humour like the first book, as well as plenty of great messages for readers.

The thing I really like about these books is that they could be super silly — and in some ways they are — but they also teach readers things like compassion, how to say the right thing, and how to fight for what you believe. Origami Yoda shows the kids in McQuarrie Middle School how to be nice to one another and how not to hurt other peoples’ feelings. Of course, Darth Paper is probably the opposite and just wants bad things to happen, but that’s only because of Harvey — and Harvey plays a good Darth Paper.  Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The Spellman Files (The Spellmans, #1), by Lisa Lutz

the spellman files
Date(s) read: December 10 – 11, 2012
Genre: Mystery, Humour

rating-4-01

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Buy Now From: Amazon

SYNOPSIS

Meet Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to “Get Smart” reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors — but the upshot is she’s good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people’s privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office.

To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman. Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who’s become addicted to “recreational surveillance”); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed “Lost Weekends”).

But when Izzy’s parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy’s new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there’s a hitch: she must take one last job before they’ll let her go — a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.

My Thoughts

I’ve never really been one for mysteries. I don’t know what it is about them, but whenever I read a book deemed as a mystery, I find myself losing interest before I even crack it open. Call me a girl, but I’ve always leaned more towards the romance part of books. Quite a while ago, I had entered a contest on the Simon & Schuster Canada website to win the first 5 books in Lisa Lutz’s The Spellmans series and ended up winning them. I was so excited! But as the year went by and they continued to sit on my shelf, I knew I needed a kick in the pants to at LEAST read the first one.

Can I just say how happy I am that I opened up that first book and started reading? In fact, I decided that when I read a mystery book from now on, it must be one of those cozy mysteries, about cats or food, or a humourous mystery, like this series. I must have fallen over with laughter numerous times while reading this story. It’s just so laugh out loud funny that I wondered why I didn’t read it when I first got it in the mail!  Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda, #1), by Tom Angleberger


origami yodaDate(s) read
: January 10 -11, 2013
Genre: MG Humour

rating-5-01

Series:
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (#1) Goodreads | Amazon
Darth Paper Strikes Back (#2)
The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (#3)

SYNOPSIS

IT TAKES THE WISDOM OF YODA TO SURVIVED THE SIXTH GRADE

Meet Dwight, a sixth-grade oddball. Dwight does a lot of weird things, like wearing the same T-shirt for a month or telling people to call him “Captain Dwight.” This is embarrassing, particularly for Tommy, who sits with him at lunch every day.

But Dwight does one cool thing. He makes origami. One day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda. And that’s when things get mysterious. Origami Yoda can predict the future and suggest the best way to deal with a tricky situation. His advice actually works, and soon most of the sixth grade is lining up with questions.

Tommy wants to know how Origami Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. Is Yoda tapping into the Force? It’s crucial that Tommy figure out the mystery before he takes Yoda’s advice about something VERY IMPORTANT that has to do with a girl.

This is Tommy’s case file of his investigation into “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.”

My Thoughts
I really don’t read enough Middle Grade books. Of all the ones I’ve tried lately, I’ve loved every single one of them. Sticking with my theme of trying out award nominees or winners, I thought this book looked innocent enough — I mean, how can Yoda steer me wrong?

This book was so good. I had seen it on the shelf plenty of times at both the library and the bookstore, but never took a second glance at it. I remember growing up, my brother was a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise, so I was very familiar with the characters. Who knew that the story would be so darn good?  Continue reading