FICTION

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus

illus. by Tom Angleberger. 208p. (Origami Yoda: Bk. 6). Abrams/Amulet. 2014. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9781419709333; ebk. $13.95. ISBN 9781613125120.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4–6—The fateful day has finally arrived for the seventh graders at McQuarrie Middle School to embark on their much-anticipated field trip to Washington, DC, their reward for defeating the FunTime Menace back in Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue (Abrams/Amulet, 2014). When cell phones and origami (and paper altogether) are banned on the trip by Principal Rabbski, and "bus buddies" are mandated, the kids are anxious that things might turn "nostrul" (awful). Tommy and the gang open a new case file chronicling their ups and downs, with Kellen adding the riotous illustrations. Smuggled cell phones and lime Fruit Roll-Ups used to create Fruitigami Yoda may save the day, but Harvey threatens to sour everyone's plans with his smuggled evil origami, Emperor Pickletine (with real pickle head). Chaperones include Mr. Good Clean Fun (along with his monkey puppet, Soapy) and dreaded Mr. Howell, who seems destined to thwart any possible fun. Can the students avoid the standardized tests? Will Fruitigami Yoda conquer Emperor Pickletine? As Angleberger brings the wildly popular series to a close (or does he?), age-appropriate boy-girl relationships are explored, and most of the story lines are wrapped up. As in the previous titles, instructions to make the origami figures are included, and this installment also includes an entertaining chart showing the effects of Origami Yoda on all of the pertinent characters. Fans of the series won't want to miss the satisfying conclusion, but new readers should start at the beginning.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA
The final episode featuring the McQuarrie Middle School crew finds the friends on a field trip to Washington, DC. But the trip is in trouble before it begins when Principal Rabbski institutes a "No Origami rule." Angleberger nicely concludes the mystery of Origami Yoda with an ending that will make readers feel as though they are maturing along with the characters.

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