Kiddosphere: May the Fourth be With You (Star Wars Day)
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you probably know that May 4th is Star Wars Day (a takeoff on “May the Force be with you”). What better way to celebrate Star Wars Day than to visit the library and check out Star Wars books and DVDs? If you need a refresher before seeing Episode VII this December, we have many books that are perfect for casual and avid fans.
Finding books for the littlest Star Wars fans is tough. Many Star Wars-related books tend to be for independent readers. That’s why I immediately ordered Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Read-Along Storybook and CD when I discovered it. It’s a picture book retelling (in print AND CD!) of Episode V. We also have several easy readers for this age (look in the easy reader section; they’re shelved as ER STA).
If you don’t know how Padme Amidala and Leia Organa are related, or the difference between Darth Maul and Darth Vader, the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia will set you straight.
A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, And the Farm Boy kicks off a new children’s series that retells the original trilogy. I’m super excited because it involves fantastic authors such as Tom Angleberger and Adam Gidwitz (it also offers “new perspectives”–interesting). Cannot wait to read them! Another series from LucasFilm/Disney (Journey to Star Wars) will be published in forthcoming months; the stories will focus on the characters’ lives between IV and V and V and VI. This series promises “Easter Eggs” about A Force Awakens, so sharp fans should take notice!
Jeffrey Brown’s Star Wars Jedi Academy series is adorable and fun. Imagine attending middle school in a galaxy far, far away. This captures the ups and downs of middle school life under the instruction of Master Yoda.
Celebrate Star Wars with some super awesome origami patterns in Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-Folding Projects From a Galaxy Far, Far Away (and check out Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series, too!).
Jedi instruction is hands on, passed from master to apprentice. But what if a Jedi manual existed, explaining the Jedi philosophy and training? Everything from Jedi history, the ins and outs of wielding light sabers, and warnings about the Dark Side would be included. Such it is with The Jedi Path. Shelved in our YA section.
Love Star Wars? How about graphic novels? If the answer to both questions is yes, then you definitely need to read Star Wars Omnibus: The Complete Saga. This enormous volume is a retelling of all Star Wars movies (prequels and original trilogy) in graphic novel format. Shelved in our YA section (there are other Star Wars Omnibus graphic novels in our YA section.
I read part of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, And Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise when it was first released, but read it at a point in which I was not entirely interested in minutiae. Now that Star Wars excitement is building as Episode VII looms, I’m planning to go back to it once December draws closer. Definitely for hardcore fans. Shelved in our adult nonfiction section.
Star Wars as told by Shakespeare? Yes, and it’s absolutely hilarious. Star Wars contains many common themes in Shakespeare–parent/child conflict, evil rulers, sparring enemies who fall in love–so the story lends itself very well to Shakespeare. Although it’s shelved in our adult nonfiction section, I’ve been told by several teens that they find them very funny. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is available in book and CD (adult nonfiction and adult CD collection).
We also have many Star Wars books in our science fiction section (SF). It gets a little tricky because there are many spin-offs as well as retellings of the movies, but a “Star Wars” search will bring them all up. Wookipedia lists all known Star Wars books (and an explanation of what is/is not considered canon).
This is just a sampling of the Star Wars material that we have (fiction and nonfiction in children’s, YA, and adult)!
Of course, we have the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, VI) and prequels (Episodes I, II, III). If you’re introducing the series to young fans, keep in mind that if you watch Episodes I-III first, the big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back is no longer a big reveal.
Finally, there are tons of Star Wars sites. The official Star Wars site has a comprehensive listing of the best and biggest sites.
May the Fourth be with you!
For book lists, reviews and staff suggestions for children published prior to January 2015, visit Kiddosphere, our blog about children/young adult fiction and non-fiction.
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library