by Katherine Paterson
A thirteen-year-old boy describes the poverty and discontent of eighteenth century Osaka and the world of puppeteers in which he lives.
Who is the man called Saburo, the mysterious bandit who robs the rich and helps the poor? And what is his connection with Yoshida, the harsh and ill-tempered master of feudal Japan's most famous puppet theater? Young Jiro, and apprentice to Yoshida, is determined to find out, even at risk to his own life.
In 18th-century Osaka, Jiro, son of a starving puppet-maker, runs away from home to apprentice himself to Yoshida, the ill-tempered puppeter. When his life at the theatre is shattered by mobs of hungry rioting peasants, Jiro becomes aware of responsibilities greater than his craft.
Age Group: 13 and UP