Star Wars fans are probably already familiar with writer Jeffrey Brown for his cute children’s books “Vader and Son” and “Vader’s Little Princess”. He’s made his return to the galaxy far far away with a new story about brand new characters who attend the Jedi Academy. It’s definitely a children’s book but it’s adorable and will easily bring a smile to the faces of those who read it.
Roan has always wanted to go to the Pilot Academy like his brother and his father before him. There’s just one problem: when the time comes, the Academy rejects him and now he’s going to have to go to the Tatooine Agricultural Academy. Or so he thinks. Instead, the Jedi Academy offers him a place. Now Roan has to catch up on years of Jedi classes, make friends, and struggle to conqueror the essential Jedi skill of lifting really large rocks.
It’s a story that has nothing to do with the rest of the Star Wars universe with the exception of Master Yoda and that’s just fine. The book is a cute little story about a young padawan who’s doing his best to fit in. Brown’s illustrations and sense of humor are just as strong here as in the two Vader books. The story is told mostly through comic strips and through Roan’s journal and illustrations with the occasional report card, homework assignment, and occasional edition of The Padawan Observer. The entire effect is incredibly charming and endearing.
These kinds of stories are clearly Brown’s strength and I can but hope that he writes more of them in the future. The story will be relatable for young children as the Jedi Academy really isn’t that much different from schools in the galaxy. They just happen to have lightsabers and have a wookiee and whatever Yoda is for teachers.
Oh. And if you need another reason to pick up this book, Roan likes to draw a comic about the Ewok Pilot. The Ewok Pilot.
I’d recommend this book for children in elementary school or younger although even adults will likely smile and chuckle at some of the jokes and illustrations. Middle schoolers are more likely to not be quite as charmed by it. It’s absolutely worth picking up if you’d like to share more Star Wars with young kids or even if you just want a break from the current Expanded Universe.
Note: Thank you to Scholastic and Net Galley for providing an advance copy for review purposes.