Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
Of the three young readers out today, Beware the Power of the Dark Side! appears to be for the youngest crowd. The author is Tom Angleberger, who is famous for his Origami Yoda series among his other children’s books.
Angleberger’s writing style is more for grades 3-5 in my opinion (which is fine considering the book is written for grades 3-7), but it may seem a little juvenile for the 6th and 7th graders in this reviewer’s opinion, and much more so as you climb the age ladder.
Still, the book is fun and engaging, even for the most devoted Star Wars fan. The first three chapters of the retelling of Return of the Jedi cover R2D2 and C3PO’s trek through the desert of Tatooine toward Jabba’s Palace, so very much in line with the film without covering the Darth Vader Death Star 2 scene announcing the Emperor’s visit.
Subsequently, the story provides background on Jabba the Hutt, his palace, why Han Solo is hanging like a wall painting, etc. All of the cool components that kick off Episode VI.
It’s written in the third person, so like most of the Star Wars written genre, you get to dip into each characters’ mind remotely – but get to see the stories and happenings that never could make it into a major motion picture because of time constraints. The other two books out today (The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy; and So You Want to be a Jedi?) are either first person or switch back and forth between first person and third person depending on the chapters that were contained in the sampler.
Like the other two books, as well, the dialogue in Beware the Power of the Dark Side! aligns very closely with the film, so you are transported through the book seeing the sights and sounds of the movie which brings the whole experience to life. Angleberger also adds his own dialogue as he imagined it would’ve been as the ROTJ scenes unfold, giving the reader a deeper insight into how things may actually have happened a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
As I’ve mentioned with the other reviews, it’s impossible to spoil these books since they are retellings of the OT as we all know and love (unless you’ve not seen the films!?!? Ack!) But being able to experience them from a new perspective certainly enriches the story line – and Angleberger does it in a way that is fun for all ages.
As mentioned previously, the book is targeted toward the younger crowd, but it shouldn’t keep you from checking it out if you love ROTJ. As noted before, if there’s a child in your life who loves Star Wars, here’s a golden opportunity to do some reading together.
You can learn more about the author and his work on his website (http://origamiyoda.com) and he can be found on Twitter @OrigamiYoda.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! is only mentioned briefly on Angleberger’s site here in preparation for BOOKCON back in May (http://origamiyoda.com/2015/05/news-and-stuff/) Currently his Star Wars book is not listed on his site, but expect that will soon change.
For more information on the popular Origami Yoda series, check out this site: http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/genrefiction/a/Origami-Yoda-Books-By-Tom-Angleberger.htm