Review Blog

Mar 20 2017

The apprentice witch by James Nicol

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Chicken House, 2017. ISBN 9781910655153
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. When we doubt ourselves we lose confidence. When others seem to succeed more than us we doubt ourselves. Arianwyn doubts her abilities as a witch. Her school enemy, Gimma, has berated Arianwyn throughout school and now Arianwyn has failed her witch evaluation while Gimma has succeeded. Arianwyn is still an apprentice but thanks to her grandmother's position in the community, Arianwyn has a chance to develop her skills and face re-evaluation when she is ready. Arianwyn is sent to Lull, a small village, on the outskirts of The Great Woods. The town hasn't had their own witch for many years and she has a lot to do. Arianwyn's self doubt doesn't lend itself to a successful first week but over the months her confidence improves and her skills are evident. The arrival of Gimma seems positive but will Arianwyn be able to overcome the past? Will she remember to not let Gimma get under her skin? Why does Arianwyn keep seeing a forbidden glyph? Arianwyn will develop an amazing friendship, courage and will put others before herself despite the danger and possible disaster.
The apprentice witch is a lovely story of courage, friendship, a passion for a calling and building confidence and belief in yourself. Watch Arianwyn develop, creating an amazing role model for young girls as she reminds us all to believe in ourselves. This story is easy to read and has adventure, magic and funny moments. The magical events are descriptive, creating great images in your mind as you read. These descriptive moments would be great read out loud in the classroom and are great models for developing writers. This book is highly recommended for readers aged 9+.
Kylie Kempster

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