A terrific book for children that captures the shifting alliances and misunderstandings that characterise life in seventh grade (what would be Year Eight in the UK), as hormones start to kick in, childish things start to look less appealing, and quoting from Star Wars may not be quite as cool as it was.
Adults reading will see a different picture, with the well-written sequence in front of the School Board at the end of the story cutting to the heart of the problem with education systems that need to be a “one size fits all”. A kid who finds it easier to communicate via an origami version of Yoda is more likely to be seen as a disturbance than someone who needs encouragement.
On a lighter note, there’s also a plethora of Star Wars injokes, starting with the names of the schools and continuing through the novel (one of the more blindingly obvious things being what Sith is an anagram of).
Complete with instructions on how to make the orgami Yoda and Darth Paper, as well as a non-computer Star Wars game (Shock! Horror!) this is a life-affirming great read for kids into Star Wars – and those of a generation above who still remember the horrors of school. 8/10
By Tom Angleberger
Amulet Books, out now