The Master Puppeteer is written by Katherine Paterson. It's a realistic fiction about a boy named Jiro whose mother hates him when his older siblings died. His father is a puppet maker and sells puppets to the Hanaza a puppet theater. Yoshida, the master at the Hanaza, takes a liking to Jiro for his spirit. Yoshida offers to take Jiro into the theater for Hanji, Jiro's father, but he refuses. All the while, a bandit named Saburo steals from the rich and gives to the poor, much like Robin Hood.

Jiro runs away from his family and goes to the Hanaza to learn the puppetry arts. His parents are disapointed in him and Jiro promises himself that he'd help them somehow. Jiro also makes friends with Yoshida Kinshi, Yoshida's son, in the boys' dressing room and bedroom. How will Jiro do in this theater? And who exactly is Saburo?

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