The Master Puppeteer

by Katherine Paterson

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A window into the exciting world of feudal Japan, The Master Puppeteer is an engaging mystery story involving a Robin Hood-like outlaw called Saburo, who has developed ingenious methods of stealing from the rich and eluding and embarrassing the authorities. The suspense builds around the persistent questions of when and where the mysterious Saburo will strike, and who he is.

Although the culture viewed in The Master Puppeteer differs profoundly from modern American culture, it also proves strangely similar to it in that the poor are forced to depend upon themselves in a desperate struggle to survive, to find a code to live by, and to gain a tiny bit of self-respect. In a way, the mob-ruled, ronin-infested streets of eighteenth-century Osaka are not so very different from the seamier parts of many modern American cities, and the young hero's struggle to succeed is not so different from many an American youngster's.

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