WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Jedi Academy: Return of the Jedi by Jeffrey Brown
Type: Children’s, School, Slice of Life
Basic Plot: Roan Novachez is now in his second year of school, and while he’s a better student with more heading about him, his assurance and pride just may be his downfall.
Plot: 3/5 Average: The story continues its daily life of a Jedi student in the Star Wars world. It is just as relatable and casual as the first book in the series is, with the moral being just as in depth if not more.
Graphics: 3/5 The graphics are consistent with the previous book, having the simple, cute look that works like a graphic novel.
Moral: 4/5 A Great Moral: Roan Novachez starts out the school year well, but slowly slides into hanging around the wrong kinds of people and blaming others for his mistakes. Both are not shown without consequences, as Roan finds himself in trouble for things he did not do as well as losing the good friends he has. By the end of the book, though, he sees that he was wrong and decides to leave his bad friends to apologize to his real ones. It all ends well, leaving children with the moral that one should be careful who they hang around and be humble enough to work out the problems they have with their good friends.
Overall: 3½/5 Average: While the graphics and plot may be not too different or even mediocre compared to other graphic novels, I do appreciate the amount of consideration the author put into making the morals positive and the characters good influences without being preachy. I would recommend it to children and Star Wars fans alike, though mainly between ten and thirteen.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Child Romance: A boy wonders if he forgot his underwear. A girl talks about her boyfriend, and a teenager boy about his girlfriend. A girl hugs a boy and calls him “cute.” A boy and a girl platonically hold hands, though an onlooker does not know this. One of the sections a boy draws in his brain is labeled “girls.” Yoda is shown in a bathtub, but nothing inappropriate is seen.
Violence: 1/5 Light Violence: A character throws icicles into a monster’s bottom. Characters throw food at each other and cause a food fight. A character spits spitballs at people. Dodge balls are thrown in people’s faces, sometimes accidentally. A boy painfully elbows his friend. Characters put a hot pepper into a boy’s sandwich, causing his mouth to literally flame. Characters fence with lightsabers in contests.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 “Geez” and forms of “suck” are said twice each.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Emotional Problems: A video game screen shows a blood covered monster, and it mentions the game is “violent.” Characters make a robot to practice fighting against. Characters trip on each other, fall, and crash and bump into each other. Comics show ships blowing up stuff and mention destroying their own spaceships. A character accidentally hits someone’s face with a book. Characters shoot at asteroids in a simulator, and the potential to crash into them is mentioned. Characters worry they will throw up from motion sickness and bad food. One nearly does. The difference between poison and venomous are talked about, discussing biting. A picture is defaced to have an arrow going through a robot. A boy teases another about blowing up stuff. A character makes food with eyeballs, mucus, slug skin, tail flavoring, and live bugs in it, which characters eat. One meal comes with a “medical burn kit.” It is mentioned to cause “pain and suffering.” Characters are warned to be careful not to get hurt. It is mentioned that war and “not crashing” one’s starship are talked about in class. It is mentioned that characters will probably cry when leaving their children, and crying is mentioned to mock people. A character cries from their work place being ruined. A robot can do “kung fu,” but it is not shown. A boy mentions faking sick. A boy talks about breaking a robot. Characters get black eyes.
Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Use: Roan and his friends use “the force,” which in other books is described as a force through all living creatures. It is used in the book to lift things and to float in the air, and characters attend classes on it. The “Dark Side” of the force is talked about, mentioning it is caused by various negative emotions and that it will consume a person. A boy does an oral report on meditation with “how to” instructions that are shown.
Magic: 0/5 None
Others: Characters go to a party and dance. A boy is a D. J. A robot has “kung fu” powers. Various works of real art are shown.
Overall: 2½/5 Child Appropriate: Like the previous book, the sequel is clean, but deals with the topics of bullying, fitting in, and dating, making the recommended age for children ten to eleven before reading. People sensitive to the religious themes in the book will want to pass it up.