Title: Star Wars: Jedi AcademyAuthor: Jeffery Brown
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Available: On shelves now
Review Copy: Netgalley
Summary: Roan's one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy--a school that he didn't apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now...
This inventive novel follows Roan's first year at Jedi Academy where, under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he learns that he possesses more strength and potential than he could have ever dreamed. Oh, and he learns other important things too--like how to make a baking soda volcano, fence with a lightsaber, slow dance with a girl, and lift boulders with the Force. -- summary and cover image via Goodreads
My Thoughts: Roan and his adventures at the Jedi Academy are adorable. Really. The book made me smile. He is an innocent youngster dreaming of being a pilot like other members of his family when he is whisked off to a strange school with a totally new way of looking at his future.
My teenage daughter was charmed and she pointed out how cool it was that someone got their fanfic published. She was right on target. This looks like a piece of fanfic. Yoda is in the book, but most of the other characters simply resemble other Star Wars figures. It is a different story in the world of Star Wars. My elementary students love it and I had a smile on my face throughout most of the book.
Jeffery uses humor liberally including a detailed drawing of Yoda's ear hair and descriptions of dinner - roasted tentacles. When Roan passes out he wakes up an hour later "in a bacta tank (pretty cool, except being in my underwear)" which also has a visual for the reader. Between the text and the great illustrations, readers will be laughing their way through. The book deals with middle school or actually upper grade elementary issues with a light hand so it is still very appropriate for elementary school readers while allowing them to enter the middle school world.
Finally, one of the best things is hiding at the back of the book. Roan provides tips on starting a journal. The tips include writing at least ten words a day, including pictures and items from newspapers, and having fun.