Monday, August 19, 2013
MG Book Review: Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
So much fun! As a casual enthusiast of Star Wars, I was fully engaged by this story of Roan, a young boy from Tatooine (sound familiar?) Roan comes from a family with a long history of serving as Star Pilots. His Father and Grandfather are Star Pilots, and his older brother is attending Pilot Academy. At the beginning of the novel, Roan is understandably disappointed to receive a rejection letter from Pilot Academy Middle School. It's all he's ever dreamt of - becoming a Star Pilot in the family tradition. What will he do now? His only alternative is Tatooine Agriculture Academy. He will be stuck on Tatooine forever, as a farmer.
Mysteriously, just before he leaves to attend TAA, Roan receives a letter inviting him to attend Jedi Academy, on the strength of Master Yoda's recommendation. What follows is Roan's immersion into an almost foreign world. All of the other Jedi Academy students have been there since toddler-hood, why has Roan only now been accepted? We see the world of Star Wards through Roan's eyes, visiting familiar places like Kashyyyk (home world of the Wookies), and learning more about what early training of the Jedi involved. Roan is a typical, slightly confused, moderately sarcastic, very funny and engaging middle schooler. This title is an excellent introduction to both the world of the Jedi and the world of Middle School. I would highly recommend its purchase for 3rd through 8th grades.
On a side note, this is an 'alternative format' novel, written as a mixture of journal entries, cartoons, letters, and other ephemera. Anywhere that this type of novel is popular (almost everywhere) would be best served by purchasing multiple copies. Check out more great alternate format reads for Middle Grade readers here.
Kicky Says: So, the tween got a copy of the book and read it 3 times in 2 days. That's right, I sat there and watched her finish the book just to open the front cover and start it all over again. She says it is "really good" and "very funny".
Star Wars: Jedi Academy (ISBN 9780545505178) from publisher Scholastic will be available on August 27, 2013.