Our hero, Roan, returns in his second year in Star Wars Jedi Academy – Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown. Things pick up right at the end of the break following the first year adventures.
For extreme Star Wars purists, this may not be a good book for you. In fact, any of the books by Brown may not be the right fit. For those of us who just enjoy the stories, regardless of whether they are canon, these are a fun divergent universe. All the characters we’ve grown to love (and hate) are presented in a (mostly) non-threatening way. Many new characters are introduced, as well. In fact, the only character from the original trilogy that shows up is Yoda. Based on his stated age, this series takes place about 300 years before the original trilogy..
As with the first book, Star Wars Jedi Academy – Return of the Padawan also deals with a lot of the issues that arise in school for young kids. Bullying, wanting to feel accepted, holding grudges for no good reason, being humble enough to apologize—all of these are addressed throughout the story. However, Brown does this in a light-hearted way that presents the moral or issue, addresses it, and resolves it without the story feeling too preachy. This takes real talent.
I love Brown’s art style. It’s simple and easy to follow, making this a perfect book for young and old alike. Even the scary characters are less scary in this series, so very young kids can enjoy it, too.
I strongly recommend Star Wars Jedi Academy – Return of the Padawan (and the other two in the series). It’s a delightful side story based in a universe full of wonder and excitement. In a couple years, I will be reading them with my kids, once they are old enough to enjoy them. This is solid entertainment.
Release Date: July 29, 2014 (USA)
ISBNs: 0545621259 (9780545621250)
Violence: 1 (bullying, light violence)