Playing a Part by Daria Wilke
Grisha has grown up at the puppet theater where his parents both work. He's used to running around in the seats and now that he's a teenager, he's learning how to make the puppets that grace the stage. He's also grown up with the actors who think of him and his pal Sashok, his godsister, as the mascots of the theater. But there's one actor that Grisha wishes would notice that he's no longer a little kid, the very talented Sam.
Sam's about to head off on an adventure, leaving the theater and Grisha to miss him. And, on top of that, the owner of the theater wants to replace the puppetmaster who has been there for all of Grisha's time there. It seems like everything is changing including Grisha and he's not sure he likes any of it.
Then there's his grandfather who doesn't approve of Sam and certainly wouldn't approve of Grisha's growing feelings for the actor. The other teens at Grisha's school in Russia definitely wouldn't either. So, he's playing a version of himself that feels nothing for anyone, but how long can he keep that up?
This is a translation from Russian and it's always very interesting to see what life for a teen is like in another part of the world. This is a sweet realistic novel that's perfect for theater kids. Grisha and his god-sister are both really interested in learning their parents trade, even as their trying to find their own way in life.