The Magician's Apprentice
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The Magician's Apprentice

3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Baz has always dreamed about following his two older brothers out of his dusty little town, so when a stranger comes to his family's home and asks him to be a weaver's apprentice, Baz is eager to start his journey. But when he reaches the village of Kallah and starts his apprenticeship, Baz learns that his master is very cruel. And when the master trades Baz to a magician...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published April 28th 2012)
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I was really excited about this book because I approve of any plot where a kid is sold to a magician for the price of a sword. This seemed like an amazing premise for a MAGICAL ADVENTURE.

Unfortunately, the plot turned out to be less Magical Adventure and much much more Jonathan Livingston Seagull Without The Seagulls.

And there’s nothing wrong with Jonathan Livingston Seagull Without The Seagulls, if that’s your thing!

But since it absolutely in no way resembled what I thought it was going to be (...more
Emily White
Buddhism meets folk story? The Magician’s Apprentice was a very well-written book full of adventure and philosophy. The main character, a boy growing into a man, is apprenticed to a rug maker and then is traded for a sword to a magician. The magician is a follower of Buddhism (although this is never said directly) and he teaches the boy to make his own choices for the right reasons and not to get hung up on things that have happened in the past. I loved the concept that the journey is just as im...more
Qirat Tabir
"What distinguished a person was not duty or obligation, but capacity to love."

Although this book was not exactly what I expected, I have learned much from it. It states clearly the simple things in life, the perfect imperfections. It teaches to love, to forgive and, most importantly, to let go.

Your destiny is only yours; only you can pursue it. There are, though, things and people who will help you find what you seek. One must cease to live in the past; one must hope for a future. That is my f...more
Suzanne Dix
Baz is the third son of simple artisans who dreams of a bigger life outside of his small and quiet village. His two brothers have already been apprenticed in other villages and so Baz is both excited and anxious when a mysterious man on a horse arrives and negotiates with Baz’s parents to take him away. Soon Baz arrives at his new home, a sweat shop of horrific conditions where he must weave rugs all day long. The work is grueling, the manager is malicious and Baz is left to wonder if he’ll ever...more
Wandering Librarians
Like his older brothers before him, Baz leaves home to become a weaver's apprentice. His master is a cruel man, and all the apprentices suffer under him terribly. Then Baz is sold to a magician for a sword, and his journey truly begins.

This was a quiet and beautiful story. The language was lovely, weaving beautiful pictures with words. While it wasn't in verse, it had a rhythmic, poetic feel to it. Peter Sis' deceptively simple drawings fit perfectly.

This is a learning-a-lesson about life book,...more
Nicole Myers
Kate Banks, the author of picture books like, “If the Moon Could Talk” that took the 1998 Boston Globe Book Award, writes a fable reminiscent of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry's “The Little Prince”. “The Magician’s Apprentice” is written in lyrical, dream-like rhythmic prose.
It is the story of Baz, an apprentice weaver whose cruel master trades him for a sword to a wandering magician named Tadis. Much of the book is occupied by the philosophical worldviews of Tadis, which are conveyed more by tellin...more
Kathy Martin
I found this book to be quite an odd one. I am not sure who the audience of this one would be. The writing is lyrical and almost dream-like. The pacing is very slow and not a lot happens. A young man named Baz leaves his home, travels with a stranger, is apprenticed to a cruel master, and is bought by an itinerant magician who then takes him and travels apparently randomly through the countryside teaching Baz as he goes.

The characters are not so much people as they are archetypes - the wise old...more
There are some books that shouldn't succeed, but do anyway. Maybe the number one example of all time is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. On its face, it sounds insufferable -- a mysteriously naive and yet truly wise space-child tells about his overtly allegorical adventures in a book full of Life Lessons and sprinkled with whimsical drawings. That it works anyway is a tribute to Saint-Exupéry's unique skill as a writer.

However, the fact that one of the all-time greats managed to pul...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Baz is looking forward to getting out of his small town just like his two older brothers. So, when a stranger comes along to offer him an apprenticeship, he takes it. Turns out, the master is cruel and life outside his town is no better. Baz is eventually traded for a sword and his life finally starts to have some meaning. His adventures begin. There are sandstorms, earthquakes, and robbers to deal with.

Baz is an interesting character, but the story moves along slowly. There is enough drama and...more
This book wasn't at all what I expected, which is my own fault. I checked the audio version out from the library without reading much of the synopsis, so I was expecting magic and wizards and such. Instead, it was full of spiritual nonsense about destiny and how everything is connected and no one is ever alone and blah, blah, blah. Not my cup of tea. Although, it was really beautifully written. I did appreciate the prose, and the voice actor was excellent, but the message just wasn't for me.

A co...more
Aug 15, 2012 Ryan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Katherine, Diane
Baz leaves the gentle pattern of life at home to start his apprenticeship as a weaver. His master is cruel, and Baz loses good friends, begins to lose himself. The master attempts to sell Baz to soldiers, but Baz is instead 'purchased' by a traveling man who becomes Baz's teacher and friend. Which is one way of describing someone's life. It misses all the small moments of richness that no one ever notices, but that fill in the color of our lives.

The book could also be a description of all of us...more
Samuel Fletcher
this kind of reminds me of a kid's version of "Sidartha". It's good, but a little "eh" for some reason.
Quick storyline but really too short to be an I loved it book.
Jaime McDowell
Really quite bad. I didn't even finish it. The language was too flowery, and the plot too philosphical and soul search-y. Certainly not what I'm looking for in a good children's novel.
more of a series of philosophical discussions than a story - not sure the audience for which it is intended can appreciate
I expected more from this book but it could be that I really was just turned off by the reader. The story does have a lot of philosophizing which is read in a very pompous way which seemed very tedious and made me roll my eyes in the same way I do when I read some self-help books.
I will have to get the actual book and test out my hypothesis. I noticed that the book has a very good illustrator as well, so that might change my opinion of it's value.
This makes me realize that a really good reader c...more
I found this book to be a reflection and mixture of Christianity and a yoga experience. It's something completely different than anything out there for children (from what I have read...). Instead of fantasy and celebrity non-sense, it's about finding the real you, enjoying the journey, and owning your peace. It was a very relaxing book, but it did drag on at the end, and I hope some children will choose to read it.
My husband and I listened to this on a road trip. It is very short--just 3 CDs. I expect it is intended as a book for teens.

I liked the story, but you have to buy into a lot of coincidences and occult magic that I don't buy. Still, it was entertaining, and if it's for older kids, there are positive lessons to be learned from what the boy in the story experiences. It's certainly better than another vampire story!
I found this thoughtful and full of Buddhist teachings. I am not sure it is really a book for children, although there are certainly children who would find it compelling. I was more concerned, despite its beautiful prose, with the lack of female characters and agency. If this is a parable, or an allegory, or even a simple teaching tale, all of the action is still performed by men and boys, and that disturbed me greatly.
Young Baz is purchased by a weaver, but finds his true calling when he is in turn sold to a wandering magician/mystic. The plot is secondary to the Teachings in this little (and very finely made) book---and there are strong, sound threads of Zen Buddhism and Taoist philosophy throughout. Children probably aren't the natural audience for it but there is all sorts of timeless wisdom to be found here.
Sharon Lawler
The whole time I was reading this I kept thinking that it really wasn't a book for kids. It seemed like Coelho's The Alchemist, set in a new place with new characters. A comparison of their similar themes of fate and self actualization could be made, but I don't think these themes would appeal to the target audience.
Laura Phelps
I am very conflicted about this one, as it is sublimely gorgeous in both text and illustration (done by Peter Sis), yet there is very little plot or character development and the pace is snail-like. I didn’t mind any of that, as the writing is poetic and the Zen-like lessons learned by the main character, Baz, are beautiful.
Odd little middle grade novel (more of an teaching tool, I think) with typically exquisite illustrations by Peter Sis. Tells the story of a young man in a middle-eastern/desert setting who apprentices to a magician and unlocks many mysteries of life.
Not sure about the audience for this one, but it's pretty.
Despite some of the low ratings I saw for this book I must say it is a nice little read. I enjoyed how philosophical it could be and the quotes that spoke wisdom so true! Traveling along with Baz was a delight and the words flowed like that of the river.
Thought-provoking book, even if a little reminicent of some other "find yourself" books. Not as good as The Alchemist, but more simple. Maybe a little too simple.

Might be a good book-group book. VERY quick read.
Susanna Chan
A good book but too philosophical for its intended audience (tween). Adults may appreciate the life's lessons but I am afraid it is going to sit on the shelf most of the time.
Lisa Pizzapickles'npie
Kind of a spiritual book for children, but not too preachy and all will take away their own interpretation/understanding of the novel.
A difficult read. Zen philosophy mixed with a bit of magic. Only for those who want to enjoy the writing style and philosophy.
Rob Culp
A strange little book unlike anything I've ever read, but entrancing.
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Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “an...more
More about Kate Banks...
Max's Words The Bear in the Book Max's Castle Max's Dragon City Cat

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