Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book Review: Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

Book: Darth Paper Strikes Back
Author: Tom Angleberger
Published: 2011
Source: Local Library

The Force requires balance. For every good-hearted (if slightly weird) Dwight, there's got to be a nasty and cyncial Harvey. For every Origami Yoda, there must be a  . . . Darth Paper.

It seems like Harvey/Darth Paper's evil schemes will get Origami Yoda/Dwight kicked out of school for good. Tommy assembles another case file to present to the school board, hoping to convince them that Dwight's not a "disruptive influence," but instead someone who has changed the lives of his classmates for the better. It's not looking good . . . but Tommy should remember that a 900-year-old paper alien is always going to have some tricks up his sleeve.

I vastly enjoyed the first book, which I read for 48HBC last year, so this one went right on my stack for this year. It follows the same format in general, short stories about middle-school angst, and just as with the first one, Angleberger hits the nail on the head. The great charm of these novels is that they're not about Star Wars at all, but about the thorny social interactions of tweens, wobbling on the threshold of teenagerhood.

There is a pretty lengthy segment at the end that deals with Harvey, who is slightly more complex than you'd think, and Dwight's eventual fate, but it's still a very quick and entertaining read. You shouldn't have any trouble selling this one based on the popularity of the first.

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