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“The Secret of the Fortune Wookie” by Tom Angleberger

August 11, 2012

(Note: I did not receive anything for this review, and purchased my two copies of this book at regular price. I do, however, consider Tom Angleberger a blog-friend and have enjoyed all of his books.)

Yesterday, I read The Secret of the Fortune Wookie by Tom Angleberger. It’s the third book in Tom’s Origami Yoda series, and it does not disappoint. The characters are still fun in their guarded belief in origami puppets which use the Force to give sage advice to Middle School kids, and it’s still full of “Star Wars” jokes, puns, and quotes.

The series has its ongoing lesson about accepting kids who are a little bit different (even “weird”) but this book savages the trite euphemisms. From page 61: “After that I had trouble getting him to say anything other than how ‘great’ Dwight is. He couldn’t really say why wight was ‘great,’ but he wanted me to know that Dwight was ‘great’ and that he wasn’t ‘ragging on him’.” Boom!

This might be a kids’ book filled with hand-drawn illustrations, but as usual Tom isn’t afraid to make some serious points. Really accepting kids who are different isn’t about calling them “special” instead of “weird,” and it’s not about constantly repeating how “great” you think that they are. It’s about caring about and accepting people the way that they are. That’s what Dwight’s real friends do, and what the kids at his new school don’t. No matter how much they say he’s great.

This is a fun book. It’s a worthy addition to the series, and you’ve got to love the title “Fortune Wookie.” It’s a laugh in and of itself. The advice dispensed by the Fortune Wookie (and translated by the origami puppet Han Foldo) is classic.

The end of the book promises another story to come, in which we appear to be dealing with school funding. Since I think I’d rather face a Sith Lord than school-funding cutters, I’m not absolutely certain how this is going to work, but I can promise you that it will be worth checking out.

If you haven’t read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back, then you should definitely do so before reading The Secret of the Fortune Wookie. If you have, then you should probably read them again just because they’re a lot of fun. Seriously. I’m going with four of five stars, maybe four and a half.

Other books by Tom Angleberger which you should check out:

The Qwikpick Adventure Society (as Sam Riddleburger)

Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run (as Sam R., co-author with Tom Hemphill)

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Darth Paper Strikes Back

Horton Halfpott

Fake Mustache

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