Anderson, Laurie Halse:
Catalyst was definitely NOT a juvenile fiction book. This book was in the juvenile fiction section, but immediately I thought the language used in the book was definitely not something I would think would be read before Junior High at the youngest. I think 8th to 9th grade is the youngest that someone should be to read this book. However, regardless of that part, the book was a great book. It was well-written and the characters were so real and awesome. I just loved the book. It definitely wasn’t a happy ending book or a happy middle or beginning for that matter, but it is a realistic fiction book, and I loved it!! If you have a highschooler, or even older teenager, I think they would love this book!
I already knew a lot about Tom Angleberger. My boys have all of the Origami Yoda books and a couple others of his. We surprised them one night and drove down to VA from MD to a book signing and got all of their copies signed. Tom was really nice and the boys loved it. Since I haven’t found my external harddrive yet with all of those pictures on it, I can’t share one here, but as soon as I find it, I’ll edit this post and add the picture of all of them together. Anyway… our library has a lot of his books, but not all of them. I’ll just review them in the order I read them.
Inspector Flytrap in The President’s Mane Is Missing (Book 2) is definitely for younger elementary and beginning readers. It has a silly story that I think this age group can appreciate. I didn’t find it appealing at all, as an adult. The jokes were very silly, but again, I know they will work for their target age group. There is a venus flytrap who is trying to solve the problem of how to get rid of a giant fly from Venus…. a Venus Fly! All kinds of things pop up to get in the way of his quest. It is great for 5-7 years old. And even younger for read-alouds.
Inspector Flytrap in the Goat Who Chewed Too Much (Book 3) This is just more of the same. The flytrap is in a pot, of course, so he can’t move around without his goat assistant to push him around on a skateboard. In this one, his goat is accused of a crime and arrested, and Inspector Flytrap has to find the read criminal and save his goat. Perfect for pre-school read-aloud and beginner readers.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda 1) This is the first book in the Origami Yoda series. It is about a group of middle school students, specifically a boy named Tommy, who create a case file to determine whether or not a finger puppet named Origami Yoda is actually using the force to give advice. The owner of Origami Yoda is Dwight, and he doesn’t really give an answer about this at all, so it’s just Tommy and his friends telling stories about what Origami Yoda has done for them and they use these stories to determine if he is “real” or not. It was a great book and I think it’ll be good for anyone who can read the words. All the way to adults, because I found myself smiling as a read and rooting for them to get the answers they wanted. It really set up the series well, and it a great book for any Star Wars fans… young or old!
Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book This is the second book in the series, and I think I liked it more than the first one. He didn’t have to spend as much time learning who all the kids were because we had already met them in the first book. This time one of the other kids, Harvey, has decided to make a Darth Vader finger puppet, called Darth Paper. He goes around telling people how bad Origami Yoda/Dwight’s advice is and pretty much tries to sabotage everything. This book is a little more serious to me, as an adult, because Dwight says something, as Origami Yoda, to a student, and when the principal hears about it, they consider it to be a threat and they suspend Dwight and the school board is going to determine if he needs to go to a school for “troubled” kids or if he can continue at the current school. So Tommy uses the case file this time to get more stories to present to the school board and try to save Dwight. Harvey seems to be sabotaging all of their efforts, and we find out at the end if it works or not…. a great book for any age!
I have more books by Tom Angleberger to read, but I haven’t finished them yet, so I’m just going to share these reviews and start the next review with those books… so more Tom to come… stay tuned!!
As always, you can see everything I’m currently reading and find my profile on goodreads. Happy Reading!!!