Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

illus. by Ralph McQuarrie & Joe Johnston. 336p. Disney/Lucasfilm Pr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484709122.
Gr 5 Up—Bracken channels the Force to deliver a solid retelling of the "Star Wars" story that started it all. The princess (Leia), the scoundrel (Han Solo), and the farm boy (Luke) each take turns as the center of attention as the story progresses almost identically to the original film, A New Hope. The trio, along with wise Master Kenobi, must evade Vader and the Empire's forces and bring back detailed plans of the enemy's super weapon if they are to have any chance in the war. The story line is well paced, and Bracken brings readers slightly deeper into the minds of the three heroes. The story is divided into three sections, one for each character; this narrative format is expertly done and not only feels novel but breathes new life into this retelling.
VERDICT Avid fans of the franchise—as well as those new to the "Star Wars" universe wanting to delve into the history in anticipation of the new film—will enjoy this and likely pick up the two sequels, So You Want to Be a Jedi? by Adam Gidwitz and Beware the Power of the Dark Side! by Tom Angleberger (both Disney/Lucasfilm Pr., 2015).

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