Book Review: Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

The truth is, I’ve been waiting for this book to hit my library pretty much since I heard it was coming out. The fact that I sort of had to read it now, since it was nominated for this year’s Cybils was just icing on the cake. A really good cake, I’m happy to say.

Darth Paper Strikes Back (Origami Yoda #2)Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was kind of like that scene where Han and Leia think they’re going to breakfast with Lando. And they’re walking down the hall thinking, “I’d like some chocolate chip pancakes,” and then they get to the dining room and all of a sudden… there’s Vader. (And no chocolate chip pancakes.)

Welcome back to McQuarrie Middle School. Tommy, Kellen, Sara, Dwight, and their old nemesis, Harvey, have started the seventh grade. Dwight’s maybe-magical finger puppet, Origami Yoda, has a new nemesis as well: Harvey has introduced his own origami puppet, Darth Paper. And Darth Paper is on a mission: get everyone to admit, once and for all, that Origami Yoda is just a piece of paper. If Dwight gets expelled from school and sent to the Correctional and Remedial Education Facility along the way, well, that’s just how it is. Tommy is determined to save Dwight (and Origami Yoda), so he is compiling a new Case File of student accounts of how Origami Yoda (and Dwight) helped them since the events detailed in The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.

Angleberger puts the form established in the first book back to good use here. The voices of the different students are clear and distinct, and there is just enough explanation of previous events to bring the reader up to speed. The lively depiction of the drama and humor of middle school life will delight readers from the middle grades on up. While waiting for the next installment (predicted for sometime in 2012), they can work on their own origami skills at Angleberger’s website,

Book Source: Checked out from my public library

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Marching to the Finish

Even though I didn’t make it by the Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics, I was determined to finish my Greenjeans sweater. I finished the last few rows and sewed on the button this morning.


I am not in love with the button after all. I need to take it off and move it inward (away from the bound-off edge) anyway, so I might replace it entirely.

I decided to try out the timer setting on our camera, with mixed results:

Mr. Greenjeans

It’s an incredibly comfortable sweater, despite the sleeves being a teeny bit too long (which was completely my own doing).

Mr. Greenjeans

Pattern: Mr. Greenjeans, by Amy Swenson, from the Fall 2007 issue of Knitty
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, about 12 balls
Needles: US8 and US7
Notes: Thank you, Amy, for writing the instructions for picking up the neck-/buttonband the way you did. If I had realized ahead of time that I was about to pick up 262 stitches, it probably would have given me more pause. Since my row gauge was off, I did extra rounds on the sleeves in between decreases, and I made the sleeves full-length. I also made the body a little longer.

This was a really nice, clear, straightforward sweater pattern.  It’s been quite a while since I made a sweater for myself.  I should make some more.

FO (Felted Object) Friday

I go away for a while, and wordpress totally changes the look of things. Crikey.

Felted Bag

Last week, I was off work on Friday, and I decided to go through some stuff in the craft closet. I found a bag that I knitted up at least two years ago, but never got around to actually felting. So, I tossed it in our front loader on Hot with a few tennis balls, then ran it through again with a load of towels. And voila: a felted bag. The i-cord handle tied itself in a couple of knots during the process, but they came out easily. The pattern was supposed to be done in stripes of Lamb’s Pride, but I used either Noro Kureyon or Big Kureyon and let it stripe itself.

It’s my first felted project, and I have not fallen in love with the process. I think I’ll go back to socks now.