books for boys, books for girls, books for older children, books like Tom Gates, books like Wimpy Kid, books that embrace fandom, geek books, Origami Yoda, Princess Label Maker to the Rescue, science fiction books, Star Wars, Tom Angleberger
Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger is the fifth book in the series Origami Yoda. The first of which is Origami Yoda.
I have bought a few sets of these books to go in the reading corners of our upper key stage two classrooms (ages 9-11) in the hope that it will give the same children who love and read and re-read series like Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates something else to enjoy.
So far I have not been able to entice a single child to read them, despite them ticking lots of the same boxes as Wimpy Kid.
Amazon Vine offered me the chance to review Princess Labelmaker and I took it in the hope that I might be able to put up a more persuasive argument with the children. It always helps if you have read the thing you’re trying to recommend to them.
I was right about the similarities with Wimpy Kid. The story is fairly pared down, the inclusion of lots of graphics and ‘hand drawn’ cartoons and textual asides is very similar. It was also quick to read, but looked fairly impressively bookish, something children really appreciate.
The story was difficult to get into. It really helps to have read the other four books it transpires, as this is a continuation of a long term, ongoing story. I suspect that had I read the previous four books, the characterisation in this book would have made more sense too. This book is introduced as a kind of case file, each excerpt from the ‘file’ having been written by one or more of the characters in the book so there is very little background or information by which you can get to know the characters if you don’t already have prior knowledge of them.
The story is about how the Rebel Alliance, aka a bunch of children at a failing high school, take on the school board to get rid of a series called EDUFUN which has been paid for by cutting out all the field trips and school’s extra curricular activities. The children of the Rebel Alliance all have origami folded Star Wars characters who they turn to for advice and help, and who they sometimes use as a mouthpiece for their activities.
The back of the book shows you how to fold two of the origami pieces that feature in the book.
It is very quirky, quite niche and very, very geeky. Angleberger has a website for followers of Origami Yoda where you too can join the Rebel Alliance. You can either browse as a visitor, or if you get really into the books you can become a member. You can find the website here.
The books are perfect for boys and girls aged about eight to fourteen. They are particular perfect for any children who are obsessed by science fiction and fantasy books and films as there are lots and lots of references to the films etc, as you would expect from the title. There are also references to graphic novels and other geekdom interests.