Jedi Academy 2: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown
|Jedi Academy 2: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: Roan returns to Jedi Academy in this awkward comedy of errors and tween angst.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: July 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
There lived a boy called Roan Novachez who always dreamed of being a pilot like his big brother. Fate works in mysterious ways and poor Roan ended up at Jedi academy instead. His first year was full of drama and tween angst; trying to make friends, fit in, impress girls and avoid lightsaber-wielding bullies. Roan thinks this year is going to be different: This school year will definitely be the BEST YEAR EVER! Of course, nobody told Roan that when you make statements like that, you are just asking for trouble...
Return of the Padawan follows the same comic-book format of Jedi Academy, which uses a variety of media to tell the story. We read Roan's diaries and letters home, browse his social media profile, scan the school magazine and watch his exploits unfold in the comic strips. There are also plenty of funny standalone strips like 'Things Yoda Said this Week'. Yoda the headmaster of the school is. Backwards he talks.
Despite his initial positive outlook, things go from bad to worse for Roan this school year. He manages to upset his best friend and the girl that he likes and even becomes the victim of cyber-bullying at the hands of his enemies Cyrus and Cronah. His teacher, Mr Garfield, seems to criticise everything he does and worst of all, Roan become the prime suspect when the class pet goes missing. We feel Roan's pain; but can't help chuckling quietly as things get progressively more uncomfortable for our hero.
The user-friendly format and comedy storyline are actually clever ways of tackling some quite sensitive issues. The story deals with the issue of cyberbullying , the fear of 'snitching' on a cheat and also looks at the dynamics of changing friendships, giving useful advice on how to be a good friend. The book is never preachy with it's message, but gets the points across effectively. It may encourage children who are affected by these issues to open up to a parent or teacher without fear of reprisals.
Return of the Padawan has darker subject matter than the first book and the jokes aren't quite as funny, but it is still a great read for Star Wars fans both young and old. Hard-core fans will love both the direct and more subtle references to the film and will enjoy the challenge of counting how many they can spot. My highlight was the new chef, Gammy, a Gamorrean who serves up some interesting culinary creations. The characters are well-drawn and memorable and Brown has increasingly creative ways of using the classroom setting to entertain his readers. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Star Wars Jedi Academy is the first book in the series and comes highly recommended.
You can read more book reviews or buy Jedi Academy 2: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Jedi Academy 2: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown at Amazon.com.
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