As for Jedi Academy? Pretty much Diary of a Wimpy Kid but the Star Wars version. I love the mix of diary, drawing, and comics. Can't mess with that formula!
Then there was the hidden gem by Matt Phelan called Bluffton. I've been eyeing this book for awhile, but just never picked it up until the Shelf Challenge! (And that's why we do this people!)
I thought the elephant was intriguing, but didn't realize the story is about......(drum roll) ....
Buster Keaton as a teen vaudeville actor visiting the town of Bluffton during his summers! Okay, okay, so that doesn't sound that enticing for my students. BUT BUT BUT, I just loved the pacing, the autobiography feel, and the illustrations. Great detailed pencil work combined with loose water colors made this a delight to read.
One of my favorite aspects of the book is the way Phelan lets the visuals tell the story. When Henry walks through town and sees a tight ropist on the phone line and a zebra grazing, well, it just made me smile. I love the lazy summer walk disturbed by these rare sightings.
I learned a bit about Buster Keaton too, and I think he would've made an excellent civil engineer, but he was a pretty fun chap and made the world laugh!