This book is a retelling of The Empire Strikes Back and a guide to becoming a Jedi. It is told through Luke Skywalker's point of view, and follows the original book's story line very closely. In between chapters Gidwitz talks directly to the reader giving lessons on meditation and self-control. Gidwitz tells the reader that he (or she) is Luke, so when he tells some parts of the story he says, "but you know this because you are Luke" (or something like that).
If you read my other review of A Tale Dark and Grimm by Gidwitz, then you might remember he was scheduled to visit our school on September 12th. Well, Irma had other plans for that week. I'm not sure when or if his visit will be rescheduled. But, I really hope it works out; it would be fun to meet him.
Our librarian has been reading the meditation lessons to the students. It is interesting to see how the different children respond. The first lesson involves closing your eyes and counting to 10, while trying to keep your mind blank. It is funny how many students either miss the instructions or can't sit still long enough to even count. And then there are the students who take it so seriously - very cute.
The librarian is not a fan of Star Wars, but she enjoyed the book anyway. (I am a huge fan.) When she tells the students that this book is about the most famous jedi, they almost always guess Yoda, and some of them say they would rather be a sith lord.
I loved the book. I remember reading The Empire Strikes Back (many years ago), and reading this version brought back so many memories. There are three books in this series. I am going to go back and read the first book (A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farmboy) and then the third (Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side) which are both written by different authors.
Wiesner does the most amazing things with the picture book format. I'm dazzled by his virtuosity in so many styles. I'm awed by the humor he manages to imbue every picture with. If you haven't checked out any of his work, it's probably because you're an adult who doesn't read picture books, because they're for kids. Pish, tosh. There is a narrative here, but like the best cartoons, it's going to sail right over the heads of children. Go, get a stack of his books and just wallow in the artistry. And laugh. And shake your head, and then you'll grab someone and say, "you've got to see this."
Wow! I can't think when I last read a farce, let alone enjoyed one. Probably it was Noises Off. It's difficult to maintain the suspension of disbelief in a text; in a play or film the pace of the action doesn't give one time to consider just how silly, how contrived, how unnatural the whole exercise is. And because Frayn is very skilled, he keeps one from dwelling on how absurd it is, while never forgetting for an instant just how absurd it is.
I don't think I actually laughed out loud, but I loved every silly minute of it.
I'm hoping that this id the gateway book for the rest of the family. So far I haven't talked two of them into anything, and the one who's enjoyed the hell out of Your Hatemail Will Be Graded, hasn't bestirred herself to sample the fiction. Of course she could find the time to read Handmaid's Tale a third time in preparation for for her exam, but does Agent to the Stars get even a cursory glance? I really thought the daughters would go for Zoe's Tale or Fuzzy Nation, but not a nibble. Big sigh.