Adapted by Elizabeth Schaefer
Age Range: 6 to 8 years
Grade Level: 1 to 3
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press (August 4, 2015)
Book Description: Meet Kanan–the rebels’ leader and a skilled Jedi. Kanan has never taught anyone else in the ways of the Force. But after meeting a promising young boy named Ezra, Kanan decides to train him as a new Jedi. This Level 2 early reader follows Kanan and Ezra as they learn what it means to be a Jedi, together.
What to Expect: Simple story lines, simple and compound sentences, contractions, easy vocabulary
Kanan’s Jedi Training is part of the World of Reading Star Wars Rebels series, a line of illustrated storybooks aimed at young and emerging readers. Known as a great way to develop children’s love of reading, the World of Reading series contains five levels of varying difficulties. Kanan’s Jedi Training falls in the second level, and these Level 2 books have slightly longer and detailed stories (not as elaborate as Level 3 books) as well as varied sentences and vocabulary. The easy to read text combined with the colored images from the animated series allow new readers to feel comfortable at their own pace without feeling overwhelmed, making it a useful tool in building confidence and an interest for reading.
Based on the season one episode “Path of the Jedi” written by Charles Murray, Elizabeth Schaefer takes essential events and breaks them down into an age appropriate retelling. Violent and graphic scenes, for example, are excluded. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the part with Yoda and his conversations with Kanan and Ezra. He’s only described as “little lights” and the story soon ends from there. Taking the age and grade level of the audience into consideration, I understand why it was omitted. However, given that the book is called Kanan’s Jedi Training, some of the introductory pages could have been slightly reduced to include Yoda’s conversation with Kanan, a situation where he questions teaching and training Ezra in the ways of the Jedi.
Despite the lack of Yoda, the storybook is a good place to start for children who are too young to watch Star Wars Rebels (but whose parents want to introduce them to that universe). As with many other children’s books, Kanan’s Jedi Training is also a great way to read to children at night and share that experience and love of reading with them. The kid-friendly retelling is also helpful for reluctant readers and for those looking to practice reading comprehension, since the full-colored images enhance the overall reading experience.
Set to be released on August 4, 2015, Kanan’s Jedi Training is just one of many Star Wars Rebels books available to younger fans. Make sure to also check out the other character storybooks in the series, such as Hera’s Phantom Flight and Sabine’s Art Attack.