Wilke, Daria translated by Marian Schwarts Playing a Part, 176 pgs. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015. $17.99. Language: PG (2 swears 0 Fs); Violence: PG (bullying); Mature Content: PG.
13-year-old Grisha has grown up at the theater. His parents have worked at the puppet theater his whole life. It’s the only life he’s ever known. He feels safe there; his friends are the actors and the puppets - especially the Jester. Outside of the theater, his life is very different. Bullied at school, and by his narrow-minded Grandfather, Grisha longs for the safety and consistency of the stage, but even there, things are starting to change. Sam, the best actor and his closest adult friend is moving to Holland where his lifestyle is more accepted. The puppetmaster Lyolik has been replaced, and Sashok, the nearest thing he has to a sister is finally getting the surgery she needs. Grisha isn’t sure what’s real anymore.
Translated from Russian, the story is moving and timely. Some themes may be considered mature.
MS OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian