Recommending books – to students, teachers, colleagues, friends, neighbors – is the bread and butter of any librarian worth her or his salt. But as a librarian MOM, it’s a bit different. Because Mom comes first, and not often will one’s child take mom’s advice – be it about slowing down on the slick grass or wearing a coat on a rainy day or trying a new title – without some resistance. However, ‘resistance is futile’: this librarian mom doesn’t give up when it comes to books. My two children are starting to figure this out. Case in point: James Nicol’s The Apprentice Witch.
At ALA in Orlando in June, I’d picked up a pre-release copy. Printed on 8×11 paper and bound by plastic combs, logic said that a book shared in such an early state must be exciting. After a quick read, the first person that came to mind was my daughter – this was similar to some of her favorite books. But she was not interested in Mom’s opinion, even with a stellar booktalk. So I tried a new tactic and started reading it aloud one night (this, by the way, is a great trick). Within two chapters she was hooked, and so was my 7 year old son. That night, they stayed up and she read aloud to him about Arianwyn and her “friends”. She finished it less than a week later to rave review. See for yourself. 🙂
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol
summary & review by JMD, age 9
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol is a fascinating book to read. A young girl that is about 16 years of age named Arianwyn is becoming a witch, and according to schedule, every young girl that is her age that she can test to see if she can become a real witch. Everything seems to be going right when then something goes wrong… Arianwyn fails the test. Her punishment is to protect a small town, Lull, that Arianwyn soon finds out is a town with big problems.
I enjoyed reading The Apprentice Witch because there is a lot of magic and fantasy put into the book and those are things that I look for when I look at books. I recommend this book for ages 8 and up. Also, this book is for fans of the series Upside-Down Magic and Fairy Tale Reform School.
The Apprentice Witch is out July 25, 2017 in the US and released July 6, 2016 in the UK
And a little side note: It was serendipitous that I picked up this advance copy at Scholastic’s Chicken House reception. Chicken House is Scholastic’s publishing arm for titles originally published in the UK. Little did I know at that time that I’d be moving to the UK!
As seen at the 2017 London Book Fair at the Scholastic booth.
Cheers, y’all! 🙂 arika