Sunday, April 3, 2016

Beware the Power of the Dark Side by Tom Angleberger

Imagine you are invited to Tom Angleberger's house to watch the old classic, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. You have popcorn and drinks and are sitting in comfortable chairs and there is a kid or two in the room with you.  As the movie plays, Mr. Angleberger starts making comments about what is going on.  Occasionally he will freeze the frame and go into the a long and funny story about a random extra in the background.  If it were the first time you had seen the movie, this would be annoying, but since you have seen this movie more times than you could count, it is just lots of fun. That is basically what this book is like.  In this book Angleberger (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, 2010) retells the story with vivid play-by-play narrative and plenty of funny and insightful commentary.  Most of the book sticks closely to the action of the movie, but occasionally, Angleberger will sidetrack to illuminate the backstory of a less known character, and in at least one spot adds a conversation that foreshadows the action in the new movie, The Force Awakens. One thing I really appreciate about the book is that Angleberger tactfully pulls back from description or detail that would be too much for and upper-grade-school age reader. This is a great choice for Star Wars fans, young and old. 412 p.

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