Monday, November 14, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday -- Darth Paper Strikes Back

Darth Paper Strikes Back, by Tom Angleberger, Amulet Books, August 2011, 9781419700279, $12.95, ages 8 and up.

Source:  book purchased from bookstore

Synopsis (from Indiebound):

The hilarious, clever, and much-anticipated follow-up to the breakout hit, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda!

It is a dark time at Ralph McQuarrie Middle School. After suffering several Origami Yoda–related humiliations, Harvey manages to get Dwight suspended from school for being a “troublemaker.” Origami Yoda pleads with Tommy and Kellen to save Dwight by making a new case file—one that will show how Dwight’s presence benefits McQuarrie. With the help of their friends, Tommy and Kellen record cases such as “Origami Yoda and the Pre-eaten Wiener,” “Origami Yoda and the Exploding Pizza Bagels,” and “Origami Yoda and Wonderland: The Musical.” But Harvey and his Darth Paper puppet have a secret plan that could make Dwight’s suspension permanent . . .

Why I liked it:  Kidding, are you?  HILARIOUS, these books are.  Hmm.  Yes.  HILARIOUS!

If you've never read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, you should run right out and read that first.  Darth Paper works best as a sequel to that first book.  But both stand out as very funny books more for boys, though girls can certainly enjoy them too. They're all about life in middle school.  Classes, teachers, cafeteria food,  humiliating school dances, the whole bit.  Specifically, the conflict here is whether or not Origami Yoda is real, or it was just Dwight saying all those wise things that helped so many people.  The books even include helpful instructions on how to fold your own origami Yoda or Darth.

As a bookseller, I can tell you I've hand sold zillions of these books, especially to fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid who are looking for something else in the same vein.  The pages of Darth Paper look like crumpled notebook pages (you find out why eventually), complete with handwritten notes and little drawings.  These books are perfect for Star Wars fans, especially anyone who's ever pretended to talk like Yoda or Darth Vader.  C'mon, admit it.  You've done this.  At least once. 

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Whitney Messenger. Other regulars include (but are not limited to):

Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Sherrie Petersen at Write About Now 
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Barbara Watson at her blog
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
Michael G-G at Middle Grade Mafioso
Pam Torres at So I'm Fifty
Ms. Yingling at Ms. Yingling Reads
Danika Dinsmore at The Accidental Novelist
Jennifer Rumberger at her blog
Akoss at Nye Louwon--My Spirit  
Gabrielle Prendergast at angelhorn

Remember my YA giveaway for a pre-order of CRACKED by K.M. Walton!  Go to this post to enter.


  1. This does sound like a fun book. Awesome that boys are buying lots of copies of this series. You have a great perspective on what sells being a bookseller. Thanks for spotlighting this.

  2. I don't read middle grade that often, but this one looks hilarious. I may have to take a peek.

  3. Love these books! And I do a mean Yoda.


  4. hahaha I think I'm one of those who should run out fast, get the first book and read it then read this one right away.
    I can't believe I've been blind to these series. Off to redeem myself.

  5. Thanks, everyone.

    Hi Natalie! Yes, it's different being on this end of the business. But I only know one bookstore!

    Christine, take a peek must you.

    Shelley, you rock! I won't even attempt Yoda speak with you.

    Ahaha, Akoss. Yes, run right out there!

  6. And I loved how you sounded very Yoda-ish with 'kidding, are you?' and 'hilarious they are." :-) My son would love it (these)!

  7. Love them, he would, Barbara! Mmm, yes, sure of that I am.

  8. I might have to buy these books for my daughter. She's mad on anything Star Wars (so am I). Great review!

  9. Hi Gabrielle. Yay for loving anything Star Wars!

    Read them you should, Shannon!

  10. I've read them both. Origami Yoda was a breath of fresh air. Perhaps I'm jaded and/or fried, but Darth Paperdidn't excite me as much.

    Selling well they are, good to know.

  11. Another book on my to-read list. Great review!

  12. My daughter and I read the first one last year and loved it . . . I was finally able to get Origami Yoda and Darth Paper into my school library last week and there was immediately a long hold list for both, so I had to quickly ordered another copy of each. I'll probably have to buy my own copy of Darth Paper because who knows when it'll be available in the library.

  13. Haven't read either. You know they say don't judge a book by its cover (and title) - this one would make me read it. :-)

  14. Yay for these books! Just YAY...!

  15. Thanks, Michael. Not every book is going to excite every reader. Sorry I am, hmmm, yes, fried you are...

    Hi Jennifer. Thanks.

    Yay for libraries, Cathe!

    Danika, yes, they are cool titles (and covers!).

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by while you're deep into NaNo, Deb!

  16. I bought Darth Paper, last week, because I loved Origami Yoda.


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