Age Range: 8 - 10
Email this review


Fifth-grader Baker hates the idea of leaving his Seattle home and his comfortable backstage job with his grandmother’s puppet show, but a good-bye gift of a ventriloquist’s dummy helps him make a place for himself in his new small-town Texas school. The story takes a while to get going as Baker recalls events of his fourth-grade year, when he joined his grandmother’s show, and describes their last Seattle performance in which he impulsively joins her in performing. But after the move, the pace picks up as Baker finds friends in the neighborhood, meets and tames the local bully, becomes the director of the traditional fifth-grade play and, at the last minute, steps up on stage to play an important role. Baker’s quick and relatively painless adjustment seems unrealistic, but in keeping with the fantasy of the puppet shows themselves. Roberts, a long-time puppeteer, has included splendid performance detail. Gentle humor makes this an easy, comfortable read. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73309-7
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2006