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Author: Banks, Kate
When Baz, 16, becomes apprentice to a powerful but kind magician, he journeys across the desert & into the mountains, learning to dispel illusions.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 153427
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 58656
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
School Library Journal (08/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/12)
The Hornbook (00/09/12)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2012 Gr 5–8—When a stranger appears in their small dusty village where every day is a carbon copy of the one before, Baz feels it is his destiny to follow him, just as his brothers did years ago. After traveling with the stranger for many days, they reach the village of Kallah, and Baz begins an apprenticeship as a weaver. Eager to embrace his new calling, he is dismayed to learn that his master is a cruel man who whips the apprentices, stripping them of their dignity and independence. When the boy is sold to a magician for a sword, he is wary of his new owner, Tadis, as they set off on a long and arduous journey across mountain and desert. Tadis, however, is a wise man who teaches Baz the importance of finding one's true calling. Along the way, the boy must learn to decipher Tadis's lyrical words and find the significance of illusions in his life. Sís's black-and-white illustrations are interspersed throughout, adding depth and character to Baz and his travels. Banks has woven a beautiful, mystical journey that will enable insightful readers to ponder their own callings and place in the world.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 08/01/2012 After a miserable time apprenticed to a cruel master weaver, young Baz is sold to a mysterious man named Tadis in exchange for a sword. Baz believes he is destined to become a warrior, but Tadis instead schools the boy in matters of life and the mysteries of the soul as the two set off on a quest across sand dunes to the distant mountains beyond. Banks fills her mostly plotless amble through the desert with Tadis’ philosophical riddles and Zen-like profundities about desire, destiny, and oneness. Sís adds the same touch of magic here that he did in Pam Muñoz Ryan’s The Dreamer (2010), with a smattering of small, elegant icons that simultaneously add both levity and heft to the whole experience. The writing is sometimes beautiful, but the almost complete internalization of conflict and reliance on abstraction and symbolism reserves this for the most thoughtful and reflective of readers. As such, it may pave the way to an appreciation of other spitirual journeys along the lines of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 When the day comes that Baz is to follow in his older brothers’ footsteps and venture out into the world to be apprenticed in a trade, the sixteen-year-old boy is delighted to leave his utterly unremarkable village in the company of a seemingly kind and generous stranger. Unfortunately, the man takes Baz to the sun-baked town of Kallah, where he is forced into servitude under a weaver who is quick with his whip. Though relieved when this master sells him to another, he holds no hopes that his new owner will treat him any better. Tadis, however, is a magician whose mission is to remove illusions and help people find who they truly are, and he surprises Baz by offering him his freedom and inviting the boy on his quest. Aspiring Buddhists and young Zen practitioners will find many of their beliefs reflected here, but Tadis’ moralizing becomes both repetitive and reductive by the book’s close. There’s little character development or plot; once Baz meets Tadis, the story comes to a virtual standstill and scenes consist mostly of the characters’ conversations regarding heady issues like faith, love, and reality. The prose, however, is often fluidly elegant, and the folkloric structure lends itself to both reading aloud and discussion. Sis’ spot illustrations are pared-down versions of his characteristically intricate pen and ink drawings. KQG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.