The Puppeteer’s Apprentice (Hardcover) by D Anne Love. Margaret K. McElderry, 2003. ISBN: 978-0689844249. pp: 192. Ages: 9-12, gr: 4-6
Paperback (Reprint edition September 28, 2004) Aladdin. ISBN: 978-0689844256



The Puppeteer’s Apprentice takes place in England during the Middle Ages. Mouse, an orphan, runs away from the cook for whom she is working, as he wants to beat her for her misdeeds. She finds companionship at first, and then when deserted again, she finds what every human being craves: a purpose to live, love, and a knowledge of self.


Prereading Activities
What was life like in the Middle Ages? Some books you might like to read to find information about the Middle Ages are: Some websites you might like to visit are:

During Reading

Chapter One
  1. Make a chart of all of the jobs people have in this chapter. What is the name of the job and what does the person do?
  2. Based on what you learned from the books and websites above, which job do you think would be the most interesting? Write a diary page, describing one day in your life performing this job.
  3. This chapter mentions flutes, lyres, and tambourines. What other musical instruments did people play during the Middle Ages? You can find some of them at:
    If you haven’t seen or heard these instruments, try to find a recording and/or a picture of them.
  4. Predict what you think will happen to Mouse now that she is in the wagon filled with cabbages.
Chapter Two
  1. Turn this chapter into a Readers’ Theatre script. Practice it and perform it for another class.
  2. Go to to find information about the use of the "blessed thistle" for medicinal purposes.
Chapter Three
  1. Simon said, "Riches only increase want." What do you think he meant by that? Do you agree or disagree with Simon? Support your answer with examples from life in the world today.
  2. If this story were taking place today, what options would Mouse have? Where could she go now that Simon has left her? What do you think her best options are in the Middle Ages?
Chapter Four
  1. Read the "Author’s Notes" in the back of the book. Learn more about the history of marionettes:
    Go to: to see some marionettes.
  2. Invite a puppeteer to your school to put on a marionette show.
  3. Make your own puppets or marionettes and put on a puppet show.
Chapter Five
  1. List all of the Puppeteer’s objections in one column and Mouse’s responses in a column next to them. If you can think of a better response than Mouse did, change the wording to fit your thinking. Then, with a partner, role play Mouse’s discovery and petition to become a puppeteer.
Chapter Six
  1. Rewrite this chapter, having Mouse tell the Puppeteer immediately what she had done to Sir Alfred. What might have happened differently? What might have remained the same?
Chapter Seven
  1. From the first page of chapter 7, figure out the meaning of the word "baxter." If you can’t, look it up in the dictionary.
  2. Would you have given Mouse another chance had you been the puppeteer? Why or why not?
  3. Of what do you think the puppeteer is afraid?
Chapter Eight
  1. Do you think that the mystery about which Alice told Mouse has anything to do with Mouse’s puppeteer? Why or why not?
  2. Now that Mouse has a birth date, and now that you know her, what name would you give her? Why do you think this is a good name? Remember, it needs to be a name that was known in this time period in history.
Chapter Nine
  1. Predict what Ordin has to do with the puppeteer’s past after you have heard Simon’s story.
  2. Who do you think was following Mouse?
  3. Predict what name Mouse will claim as hers.
Chapter Ten
  1. Compare this chapter to your predictions. What was alike? What was different? Do you prefer what happened or your predictions?
  2. Put yourself in Mouse’s place. Write down what you think her thoughts are as she is riding to Gimingham.
Chapter Eleven
  1. Locate a map of England. Find all of the towns that Mouse and the puppeteer have traveled through.
  2. Locate a map of England. Find all of the towns that Mouse and the puppeteer have traveled through.
Chapter Twelve
  1. Write a puppet play, a play, or a Readers’ Theatre script about the puppeteer’s family history.
  2. What do you think Mouse will do, now that the puppeteer has died?
Chapter Thirteen
  1. The ancient Sabines were in Latium before Rome was founded. Find out more about the history of the Sabines.

After Reading

Write another chapter or two to this book. What will be Sabine’s future? Will she ever go back to the town where she was born? What adventures will she have?

About the Author


Related books

More for the teacher

Links to other online guides for The Puppeteer’s Apprentice.


The Puppeteer’s Apprentice. Accelerated Reader: Quiz #69019 EN; Book Level 5.1; Points= 6.0
Lexile Level 760
Guided Reading Level R
Flesch/Kincaid 4.8

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