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Children's Fiction Toys, Dolls, Puppets

The Puppet Wrangler

by (author) Vicki Grant

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2004
Toys, Dolls, Puppets, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Fantasy & Magic
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2004
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2004
    List Price

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Telly Mercer is shy and quiet, used to living in the shadow of her older sister, Bess. Then she finds herself on the set of a puppet show, staying out of the way of her overstressed aunt Kathleen. One evening she makes a surprising discovery that launches her on an adventure with an unpredictable and angry puppet.

About the author

VICKI GRANT left her career in advertising and television to write her first novel, The Puppet Wrangler, in 2004. She has written many books for young readers, including Not Suitable For Family Viewing, winner of the Red Maple Award, Quid Pro Quo, winner of the Author Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Fiction, Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret, Pig Boy and B Negative. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Twitter: @VickiGrantYA

Instagram: @vicki_grantya


Vicki Grant's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award nominee
  • Winner, CBC Young Canada Reads
  • Short-listed, CLA Book of the Year for Children nominee
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch nominee
  • Commended, VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers List
  • Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"

Excerpt: The Puppet Wrangler (by (author) Vicki Grant)

He was supposed to say, "You're my Bitsiest bestiest friend," but every time he got to that 'bestiest' part, his mouth jammed open and his little pink tongue slipped out the side. He looked so human I couldn't believe it. It was like he was gagging on it or something.

Editorial Reviews

"A zany coming of age story."

St. Catherine's Standard

"Kids who sometimes feel like adults are pulling their strings will relish the idea of a puppet pal with a mind of his own."

Center for Children's Books

"A fresh and unpredictable modern fantasy."

"A quirky and engaging adventure story."

School Library Journal

"An entertaining work of light, humourous fantasy."

CM Magazine

"Grant's debut novel sparkles with humor; Telly's first-person narrative is deliciously low key and understated to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny."

"Any reader who has ever felt as if s/he lives in a sibling's shadow will identify with Telly immediately and cheer her on with great enthusiasm."


"A very funny and gripping novel filled with bizarre characters that [Grant] manages to make credible."

The Bookmark (BCTLA)

"A cleverly crafted, believable peek into the fears of an over-looked child."

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