Sunday, September 28, 2014

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue! (Origami Yoda Series #5) by Tom Angleberger

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue! (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Origami Yoda Series #5)

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

At McQuarrie Middle School, the war against the FunTime Menace—aka test prep—wages on. Our heroes have one battle under their belts, and they’ve even found a surprising ally in Jabba the Puppett. But to defeat the Dark Standardized Testing Forces they’re going to need an even bigger, even more surprising ally: Principal Rabbski. But with great forces—aka the school board—pushing her from above, will the gang’s former enemy don a finger puppet and join the Rebellion—or will her transformation to Empress Rabbski, Dark Lord of the Sith, be complete?

With this timely episode in the blockbuster Origami Yoda series, Tom Angleberger demonstrates once again that his “grasp of middle-school emotions, humor and behavior is spot-on” (Scripps Howard News Service).

Praise for Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!
"Fans will devour this satisfying and nicely realistic conclusion to the story set up in the previous volume. Characters grow, and non–Star Wars pop-culture references seep in. Readers new to the series are advised to go back to the beginning; they won’t regret it."
Kirkus Reviews
"These books are more popular than a working droid on Tatooine. Expect the usual army of young Jedis to come out swinging for a copy."
Booklist

My thoughts:
I am not sure if I read book four or not, but that did not get in my way of enjoying this installment of the series.  This was a very quick read!  Angleberger takes a look at test prep series from the point of view of the students and made the test prep materials particularly annoying.  Because McQuarrie Middle School had the worst test scores last year the school board has taken away all of the electives the students formerly enjoyed, like music classes, drama club, and all sports and replaced them with video test prep and worksheets to prepare for the test.  The students are bored, they miss their electives and they hate the singing professor and his rapping calculator.  The teachers are less than thrilled too.  The origami owners get together to plan their own rebellion against this test prep.

How much of this parody is what is actually being done in some schools and classrooms?  How much of a rounded education with challenges and differences are students losing because of scores on tests?  I agree there needs to be accountability and some way to measure what the students have learned, but I have mixed feelings about our current system.  I've seen the tests from an educator's perspective and from a parent perspective and I think a change needs to be made.  My hope is that in the future something better comes into use, but while I agree that some review is necessary on a regular basis to maintain skills and knowledge, whole programs designed to prepare students for one test should not be the focus of the school day for students.  Learning and preparing for life should be the focus, not a test.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419710520
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Series: Origami Yoda Series , #5
  • Pages: 208

1 comment:

  1. John Michael CummingsOctober 6, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Dear Jill,

    Will you please consider reviewing my new novel DON’T FORGET ME, BRO (Stephen F. Austin State University Press and Texas Book Consortium, Dec. 2014-Jan.2015).

    My novel tackles themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families--and leaves the reader uplifted!

    Kirkus Reviews says: "Read this book for the vivid imagery and sharp dialogue. Read it for the spot-on characterizations..."

    The subject matter is never treated frivolously or over-handled in details. The writing is taut and compelling throughout. The pace leans forward tirelessly.

    Those accomplishments alone took years.

    In all, five of my thirty years of writing were dedicated to this novel. I like to joke: I had to pull my soul sideways through a keyhole for those five years to get the right words down.

    My debut novel, THE NIGHT I FREED JOHN BROWN (Penguin Group, 2008), won The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and was one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY for Black History Month. For
    more info:
    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-michael-cummings/the-night-i-freed-john-brown/

    My 2011 short story collection, UGLY TO START WITH (West Virginia
    University Press), was hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a work of “sharp observation and surpassing grace.” Here’s a link to some information about my collection:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ugly-Start-With-Michael-Cummings/dp/193597808X

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary
    journals, including The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I
    have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    But DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is my best!

    The novel is a fictionalized story of my brother. Joe died at 47 of system-wide neglect and indifference for the so-called mentally ill in my, until recently, extremely backward home state of West Virginia.

    I know thousands of lives are lost every day around the world. True, Joe was just one. But in this novel, you will see him live and die not once, but a thousand times in the minutes of his life.

    If you email me at johnmcummings@aol.com, I'll send you the cover graphic for my novel. Then, please take a look at the image. You will see in Joe's innocent, dead-on eyes at 19.

    I'll also email you a new digital .pdf of my novel from the publisher. It's a clear, bold text.

    I promise you that DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is not too grim. I am
    sensitive to the reader's well-being and tolerance.

    Cleanly written and briskly plotted, DON'T FORGET ME, BRO is a quick, fabulous read, a literary page-turner. Never before in my career could
    I say this about my work. So I say so now with a truth I can all but guarantee.

    I hope I don't sound arrogant. I am just very happy and confident.

    To give you a bigger picture of my novel, I'll even email you a full advance review by Pauline Finch of Bookreporter.com, along with a list of authors who've blurbed my novel so far and what they have said.

    I would very grateful and honored if you were to review my new novel.

    Again, my email is johnmcummings@aol.com

    My phone number is (304) 620-8747.

    In respect and gratitude for your work,

    and warmly,

    John Michael Cummings

    -- end --

    ReplyDelete