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Book Review: The Grave Robber's Apprentice

August 05, 2013

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A finalist for the GG's, The Grave Robber's Apprentice is a story of friendship, determination and courage. Kidzworld has the book review of this middle grade novel by Allan Stratton. 

The Grave Robber and the Countess

As a baby, Hans washed up on shore in a wooden box with a crest - the single clue to his true identity. The grave robber, Knobbe, took him in and trained him to work in the family business. Meanwhile, countess Angela von Schwanenberg's life is at risk. The evil Archduke Arnulf, who murdered his previous wives, demands that they wed. So Angela fakes her own death with a potion she obtained from the Necromancer. Unfortunately, the Necromancer betrayers her to the Archduke. While she is buried alive in her royal grave, the Archduke arrests her parents - the only people who know that she's not actually dead. 

Friendship Triumphs

Knobbe insists that Hans dig up the royal grave. Though Hans doesn't want to disturb the countess's final resting place, he does his adopted father's bidding and ultimately saves Angela's life. Soon, Hans and Angela become friends and join forces to seek out Peter the Hermit's help in rescuing Angela's parents. In their travels, they encounter a family of acrobats and discover Hans's true identity.

The Bottom Line

Allan Stratton, author of the YA novels Chanda's Wars and Borderline, delivers a fast-paced middle grade adventure novel that has humor, action and a clever plot. The Grave Robber's Apprentice was a finalist for the 2013 Governor General's Award and was shortlisted for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.

Have Your Say

Will you read The Grave Robber's Apprentice by Allan Stratton? Tell us in our comment section below!