The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

Tom Angleberger, Author, Cece Bell, Illustrator
Tom Angleberger. Abrams/Amulet, $12.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0392-8
Reviewed on: 08/06/2012
Release date: 08/07/2012
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4703-2984-6
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-1-4197-0517-5
Prebound-Glued - 190 pages - 978-0-606-33306-1
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The seventh graders of McQuarrie Middle School are back—except for Dwight, creator of the original Origami Yoda, who is stuck at nearby Tippett Academy after getting suspended in Darth Paper Strikes Back. But the kids still need wise, Star Wars–themed advice, and thus the Fortune Wookiee is born. (In one of the funniest gags, the paper Chewbacca's fortunes consist of variations on "MMGGGGHHHRRRRR," requiring translation from a second puppet, Han Foldo.) As with the previous books, this story's greatest strength lies in the way Angleberger develops, distinguishes, and humanizes the main characters, who take turns narrating in chapters brought to life with a variety of typefaces and scrawled cartoon marginalia. From Kellen's romantic cluelessness and Sara's savvy to some poignant material about Dwight, who isn't doing as well at Tippett as he would have his friends believe, Angleberger shows an uncommon ability to get into the heads and hearts of middle-schoolers, while keeping humor at the forefront. Plans for a fourth book appear to be underway: as Origami Yoda puts it, "A great battle ahead I sense." Ages 8-12. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Aug.)
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