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Grade 6-8–After her wild, outrageous older sister steals a school bus, dependable, quiet Telly is sent to Toronto to stay with her Aunt Kathleen. Although her aunt produces a television show for children, she has no experience with kids, and often seems to forget that her 12-year-old niece even exists. But then Telly discovers that Bitsie, one of the puppets on the show, is actually alive. Not only is he alive, but he is as funny, irreverent, manipulative, and uncontrollable as the girl's sister. Suddenly, Telly finds herself caught up in a series of crazy escapades, ending with her and Bitsie being trapped in the house of a desperate puppeteer. Narrated by Telly, this is a fresh and unpredictable modern fantasy. The writing is lively, funny, and littered with footnotes that will either amuse or irritate readers. While the premise is far-fetched, with many incredible twists from beginning to end, the author manages to make it convincing through the voice of her protagonist. She even includes a subtle message about the dangers of advertising, since a lot of Telly's problems stem from Bitsie's gullibility and fascination with everything he sees on TV. The secondary characters are fairly one-dimensional and serve largely to advance the plot. Still, this is a quirky and engaging adventure story.–Ashley Larsen, Woodside Library, CA
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"An entertaining work of light, humourous fantasy." (CM Magazine 2004-04-08)
"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 2004-04-01)
"A fresh and unpredictable modern fantasy." "A quirky and engaging adventure story." (School Library Journal 2004-07-20)
"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." (KLIATT 2004-09-01)
"A very funny and gripping novel filled with bizarre characters that [Grant] manages to make credible." (The Bookmark (BCTLA) 2004-09-01)
"A zany coming of age story." (St. Catherine's Standard 2004-07-02)
"A cleverly crafted, believable peek into the fears of an over-looked child." (Resource Links 2004-09-01)