The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Author Tom Angleberger
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's book Realistic Fiction
Publisher Amulet Books
Publication date
Pages 141 pages
ISBN 0-8109-8425-3

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is a children's novel written by Tom Angleberger that was first published on March 1, 2010, by Amulet Books.[1] It follows the story of a young boy named Dwight Tharp who creates an Origami likeness of Yoda from the Star Wars film franchise in order to give advice to other school students.[2] It became the first in a series of popular Star Wars themed novels penned by Angleberger, which includes Darth Paper Strikes Back!, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett, Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue, and Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda was nominated for the Illinois State 2013 Rebecca Caudill Award.


Dwight is a sixth grader at McQuarrie Middle School who is considered quite weird. One day, Dwight folds an origami finger puppet of Yoda, a popular Star Wars figure. Through an imitation voice, Dwight offers advice to his classmates through Yoda. Some students at McQuarrie soon become convinced that Origami Yoda has a special connection to the Force, while others remain skeptical. A fellow sixth-grader named Tommy decides to write a case file to prove if Origami Yoda is real. He convinces a number of students to write about their experiences with Origami Yoda, while his friend Kellen illustrates the file. However, Harvey, who has always been cruel to Dwight and is skeptical about Origami Yoda's wisdom, attempts to disprove Origami Yoda's connection to the Force.


Angleberger has stated that partial inspiration for the book came from Origami artist Fumiaki Kawahata, whose origami Yoda has been seen on the Web. Inspiration also came from the unique style of writing associated with Star Wars.

The name of McQuarrie Middle School is a reference to Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie, who seems to have heavily influenced Angleberger.

Main characters[edit]

The main characters in the book are Tommy, Dwight, Yoda and Harvey.

Darth Paper[edit]

Created by Harvey, an antagonist of book 2, Darth Paper Strikes Back. He teases Tommy and gets Dwight suspended. He is behind an unannounced grand scheme. Ultimately, he turns to the good side and becomes Origami Anakin.

Origami Yoda[edit]

An origami finger puppet made by Dwight. Dwight's friends are questioning if Dwight is just pretending that origami Yoda is real or if origami Yoda is real and is using the force. Can Tommy and everyone else at school figure it out?

Harvey Cunningham[edit]

The main antagonist of the first two books, Harvey, is focused on a single goal — to prove that Origami Yoda is not real. Harvey always complains and insults everyone. The creator of Darth Paper, he repeatedly boasts that his Darth Vader imitation is better than Dwight's Yoda imitation. He was Tommy and Kellen's best friend at the beginning of the first book but they turned against him, as they are fed up with him criticizing everyone. He writes a comment at the end of almost every story.

In Book 3, Harvey turns to supporting Tommy, Kellen, and Dwight with some of his end comments, even to the point of adding his own contribution to the mini Dwight Case File.

Principal Rabbski[edit]

The principal of McQuarrie Middle School and the main antagonist of The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee and The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. She wants students to focus on the fundamentals to do well on the Standards of Learning Test. In the next book Princess Label maker changes her mind and changes sides.

Jabba The Puppett[edit]

He was folded by Mr. Howell, and saved the rebellion from being crushed twice.

Kellen Campell[edit]

Kellan is Tommy's best friend in every book. In every story, he adds doodles to them. He wears glasses and Liked Rhondella for the first five books. Then he Liked Cassie. His last name was revealed in Books 2 and 5.


Five sequels have been released, as well as an activity book.

Darth Paper Strikes Back![edit]

Published in 2011

The first sequel, Darth Paper Strikes Back (ISBN 9781419705175), takes place one year after the events of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. The book includes instructions for a simpler version of Darth Paper (whose designer is known as Super-folder Ben), as well a 5-fold version of Origami Yoda "It is a dark time at Ralph McQuarrie middle school. After suffering several Origami Yoda-related humiliations, Harvey manages to get Dwight suspended from school for being a "troublemaker." Origami Yoda pleads with Tommy and Kellen to save Dwight by making a new case file-one that will show that Dwight's presence benefits McQuarrie. With the help of their friends, Tommy and Kellen record cases such as "Origami Yoda and the Pre-eaten wiener,""Origami Yoda and the Exploding Pizza Bagels," and "Origami Yoda and Wonderland: The Musical." But Harvey and his Darth Paper puppet have a secret plan that could make Dwight's suspension permanent..."

An emergency Origami Yoda, along with a simple version of Darth Paper, is featured as a guest star and a how-to-fold.

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee[edit]

Published in 2012

The third book In the series, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (ISBN 9781419705175), takes place one year after Darth Paper Strikes Back!

The summary from reads: With Dwight attending Tippett Academy this semester, the kids of McQuarrie are on their own, no Yoda to help them navigate the treacherous waters of school. Then Sara gets a gift from Dwight; a cootie catcher (fortune teller) in the form of Chewbacca. It's a Fortune Wookiee, and it seems to give just as good advice as Yoda, even if, in the hands of the girls, it seems too preoccupied with romance. In the meantime, Dwight is fitting in at Tippett a little too well, and it's up to his old friends at McQuarrie to remind their buddy that it's in his oddness that his greatness lies.

The book includes instructions to make Chewbacca Fortune Wookiee and Han Foldo finger puppets.

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett![edit]

Published in 2013

The fourth book in the Origami Yoda series, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett! (ISBN 9781419710452), takes place one semester afterwards The Secret of The Fortune Wookiee.

The summary on reads: Dark times have fallen on McQuarrie Middle School this semester. Dwight's back—and not a moment too soon—as Kellen, Sara and the gang face a new Menace: the FunTime Educational Program. FunTime is supposed to raise students' test scores; instead, it's driving everyone at McQuarrie crazy with its obnoxious Professor FunTime and his insidious singing calculator. When Principal Rabbski cancels the students' field trip—along with art, music and Lego classes—to make time for FunTime, the students turn to Origami Yoda for help. But some crises are too big for Origami Yoda to handle alone: Form a Rebel Alliance the students must. With this latest Episode in the explosively popular Origami Yoda series, Tom Angleberger proves once again that he "has his finger puppet squarely on the erratic pulse of middle-school life".

The book includes instructions for Ewok and Jabba the Puppett finger puppets.

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue[edit]

The FunTime menace is still not defeated, so a mysterious character by the name of Princess Labelmaker gives the case file to Rabbski to explain that the FunTime menace is evil and to request for Rabsski's help. Later on, Princess Labelmaker is collected by Rabbski. At a meeting, Rabbski and the Alliance fight against the school board and save their electives, as well as their field trip to Washington. But who was Princess Labelmaker?

The book contains instructions on how to fold Luke, Leia, and in some copies, Obi-Wan.

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus[edit]

This is the final concluding book of the series.

The book contains instructions for Emperor Pickletine and Flying Vader.

Also contains all characters that have been announced in the book series.


  1. ^ "The strange case of Origami Yoda / Tom Angleberger.". Library of Congress Online Catalog. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Feinberg, Barbara. "Bound by Friendship". Sunday Book Review. The New York Times ( Retrieved 2 January 2014. 

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