The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (Origami Yoda #3)
With his proven knack for humorously exploring the intrigues, fads, and dramas of middle school, Tom Angleberger has crafted a worthy follow-up to his breakout bestsellers The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back.
Left Me Laughing Loader Than Chewbacca Can Roar
You know that feeling you get when your favorite character is killed off your favorite TV show? Or when you’ve misplaced your keys and you just can’t fight them anywhere? Or when there’s that nagging in the back of your mind telling you you’ve definitely forgotten something, but you just can’t remember what it is? That’s the feeling I got, along with McQuarrie Middle School-ers, in “The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee,” the third book in Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series.
That great big absence, that nagging in the back of the brain, was all because Dwight, the creator of Origami Yoda and vehicle through which the little paper Jedi Master delivers his insights, was missing from McQuarrie as he transferred to Tippett Academy and was missing from his usually quirky personality. The nagging isn’t because Dwight is doing something weird, it’s because he’s doing things that are not weird. Dwight appears to be perfectly normal, and Tommy and friends know that just ain’t right.
What I love about this latest book in the series is that it brings readers closer and closer to Dwight because he’s in the book so little. It’s that whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” concept. As that fondness grows, Angleberger makes it wonderfully clear that Dwight’s abnormalities are the greatest parts about him. It seems as if all of McQuarrie (with the exception of Harvey, of course) revels in his eccentricities, which delivers the message that you don’t have to fit a very specific mold to have friends. It felt like a refreshingly new way to deliver the anti-bullying message without ever actually bringing up bullies. And in celebrating Dwight’s weirdness, I got the biggest laugh I’ve ever had in this whole series on page 119 as characters reminisced about a past poster creation of Dwight’s. I’m still chuckling, but at the time, I laughed louder than Chewbacca’s roar.
The other thing I loved about this book was that the girls of McQuarrie had such a strong role to play. Tommy’s almost-girlfriend Sara is the master of the Fortune Wookiee and Han Foldo, who together deliver predictions in much the same way as Origami Yoda once did. The girls are no longer just topics the boys need Jedi advice about. Instead, the girls are the ones using the Force to deliver messages of their own. I think this was a great move to get girls interested in the books, as well as to help boy readers understand female equality and gender empowerment in a way that doesn’t compromise the feel or tone of Origami Yoda.
“Fortune Wookiee” is more than just a clever name. It’s a solid installment that keeps up the fun vibe and hilarious mood of the Origami Yoda books. Hopefully this series will see as many episodes as George Lucas’s films!
Wonderfully clever new origami characters.
Girls using the Force along with boys.