Genre: Graphic Novel
Release Date: 8/27/2013
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About the Book: Roan can't wait to attend pilot academy, just like his dad and his older brother. But when Roan isn't accepted to the school, he thinks maybe boring plants are in his future. Until he unexpectedly receives an acceptance letter to Jedi Academy, a school that typically recruits kids when they are very young. Sure, they use the force there and they have these cool things called lightsabers, but is Roan really meant to be a Jedi?
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If the readers you work with are anything like the readers I see at my library, they ask for two things on a regular basis: Star Wars and books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Enter Jeffrey Brown to give kids exactly what they've been asking for and didn't know it-a graphic novel Wimpy Kid-esque Star Wars story.
The book is told through Roan's journal entries, comic panels, homework, observations about teachers, school signs and the school newspaper. It's not so overwhelming heavy on the comic format that I think even readers who shy away from comics will pick this one up as it's about half journal entries, half comic panels. The humor is fantastic-Roan's observations about Yoda, his wookiee gym teacher (who they have trouble understanding) and his thoughts about Jedi Academy have just the right amount of nods to the original movies for Star Wars fans to appreciate. But even you're not an avid fan and just know the average amount about the Star Wars universe (like myself) there's still plenty of great story here to make you laugh.
It may be set at a Jedi Academy, but this is still middle school after all. There's gym class, mean kids, new friendships, student elections, school dances, and first crushes. There's that class that's hard to master the subject, only in this case, it's the Force. There's a big all school competition, it just happens to include lightsabers. It's still the middle school we can relate to with some otherworldly tweaking.
What I loved most about the book, aside from Roan just being an all around relateable and likable guy, was the fact that this book is perfect for those middle readers wanting Star Wars books. One thing we struggle with a lot at my library is that group of fans who want books but are too old for the early readers and a bit too young or just not interested in the series chapter books. This is the perfect inbetween book for those readers and I can't wait to give it to them! When this book first came across my desk, I knew right away this book would be the next big hit at my library. If you have young Star Wars fans, be sure to hand this one over to them-they'll love you for it. While the story wraps up and finishes Roan's first year at Jedi Academy, we can hope for more adventures to come. I know I'm willing to go back to school with Roan!
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC received from publisher