Boy recently discovered the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger and to say the kid is obsessed with these books would be an understatement. These books have ignited a fire in his soul, I’m not even kidding.
My son can be a bit of a puzzle because he’s a very high reader (late 5th grade MCPS instructional reading level with a capacity reading level – including comprehension and vocabulary – which far exceeds that), who is still only 8 years old chronologically, developmentally, socially, and emotionally, who can’t sound out words or spell or write, who loves stories but who doesn’t love to read independently unless there is so much payoff for him that there’s no other reasonable choice. He’d much rather listen to someone else read and ask questions and talk about it and HE DOES. Or just create his own stories, specifically graphic novel stories. And HE DOES, which is the ONLY time he doesn’t complain about or STRUGGLE with writing. Ah, the often mysterious odyssey of GT/LD kids.
But anyway, this awesome Tom Angleberger series has given him exactly the sort of fun motivation he needs to stick with the effort in both reading and writing. And the origami? Both the following of directions and the folding? Icing on the fun AND stealth mode therapeutic cake.
The series begins with a group of middle school kids who come to believe that an origami Yoda finger puppet created by one of them has the power to impart wisdom and to predict the future. All sorts of middle school adventures ensue and additional origami Star Wars puppets make appearances in subsequent books. Each book is made up of chapters, or case files, written by different characters documenting their hilarious adventures with the puppets. Plus there are directions for making origami Star Wars puppets – and an accompanying website – and all sorts of funny doodles throughout, graphic novel style.
Boy has read every single word of all 6 books and although he owns only 2 of them, he has the rest of the series out from 2 different libraries, school and neighborhood, and has renewed them all so he can keep enjoying them. He has been VERY busy creating his own origami finger puppets, case files and stories. He simply loves it ALL.
See what I mean? And although having our house look like a literal trash can is messing with my psychology, I’m sucking it up for the common good.
So anyway, he’s formed a really nice bond with his media teacher at his new school who is super passionate about children’s lit and kids and her job. She talks to kids about their own interests and passions and has already brought a couple of very cool lit events to the school. She’s new to MCPS, was in Howard County until last year. Our gain.
The other day when I picked Boy up, he came racing out to me full of super intense enthusiasm. “Mom, you are NEVER going to believe what happened!”
He peeled his backpack off his shoulders, dropped it on the ground, unzipped it and pulled this flier out of his folder. It was in pristine condition unlike the rest of the papers randomly smashed into his backpack. His media teacher had printed it out and taken it to him in the middle of the school day while class was in session. JUST BECAUSE she knows he loves this series. He couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t either, to be honest. There are 700 kids in his school.
He stood there holding the flier and looked up at me and said, “Mom, this is the most important thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s more important than my education. It’s more important than my social life. I know it’s on a school night and kind of far away but can you promise me with your whole heart that you’ll take me to meet Tom Angleberger? My life depends on it. I’ve gotta make you understand what this means to me. Oh I know, 2 words. Bruce Springsteen.”