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Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda)


Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda)

The seventh graders of McQuarrie Middle School are finally going on their field trip to Washington DC! It is a field trip that readers of Tom Angleberger’s wildly popular  Origami Yoda series know they had to battle the Dark Side (in the form of standardized tests, the principal Ms. Rabbski and the school board) in order to have, but of course, it is going to be one full of mischief, misunderstanding and Star Wars origami figures. And, of course, it is all recorded in Tommy and his friends’ case files, which are presented to us as EMPEROR PICKLETINE RIDES THE BUS, the final book in the series. Tommy, Remi, Cassie, Sara, Amy and Mike all contribute to the case files, with Kellen adding the ever-important illustrations.

The long awaited field trip is marred from the beginning with a buddy system complicated by loyalties and budding romances and a ban on cell phones, but the rule about no origami is the worst. Because Rabbski is worried that middle schoolers walking around D.C. with origami (or kirigami) will not be a good representation of the school, she forbids the figures, as well as all paper on the trip.

Angleberger’s awesome series ends on a high note with EMPEROR PICKLETINE RIDES THE BUS, which gives readers a great adventure as well as the first case file penned by Dwight.

After everyone divides into their buddy groups, supposedly based on what museum they want to visit but in fact based on who they want to spend the day with, one group finds themselves on the slow yellow school bus while the others speed to the capitol in chartered buses. The kids on the yellow bus are happy to avoid the tiny and disturbing bus bathroom but are bummed out to be on the same boring bus they ride every day. The kids on the more comfortable bus have the annoyingly chipper germaphobe Mr. Good Clean Fun along with his monkey puppet Soapy for chaperones.  The ride is much longer and more frustrating than anyone had imagined and on one bus, it only gets worse when Harvey thwarts the origami ban and creates Emperor Pickletine (with a real pickle for a face) and tries to persuade everyone to come to the Sour Side.  Thankfully Dwight, with his bag full of fruit roll-ups, intervenes with the wise Fruitigami Yoda. Fruitigami Yoda is able to channel the Force to help the kids out of some of the tougher situations like being stuck on the side of the road with only astronaut ice cream to eat and getting punched in the face by a friend on the ride home.  But when back home Dwight sends Origami Yoda off in the Mail-lennium Falcon, it looks like it is the end of an era and the end of a series.

Like all the other Origami Yoda books, EMPEROR PICKLETINE is laugh out loud funny. It is equally sweet and silly and the characters and situations are wonderfully conceived. The relationships between the group of friends and between the students and teachers become a bit more complex in this book, but that only lends itself to more thoughtful comedy. And, what’s not to like about a whole chapter devoted to Star Wars snack puns: Darth Maulsmallow, Crouton-Taun, Bean Kenobi, Wattomelon and Peawoks, just to name a few!

Angleberger’s awesome series ends on a high note with EMPEROR PICKLETINE RIDES THE BUS, which gives readers a great adventure as well as the first case file penned by Dwight.  In addition to the expected origami patterns, there is a nice chart showing the effects of Origami Yoda on the kids of McQuarrie at the end of the book, as well as some final words by Tommy who insists “the end this is not!”

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on August 13, 2014

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda)
(Origami Yoda #7)
by Tom Angleberger

  • Publication Date: August 16, 2016
  • Genres: Children's, Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 1419722018
  • ISBN-13: 9781419722011