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|Grave robber's apprentice|
Author: Stratton, Allan
Hans, a foundling, helps Countess Angela when her dream of being a professional puppeteer is hindered by an evil archduke.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 149861
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 56961
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 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
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
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/12)
School Library Journal (03/01/12)
Booklist (+) (05/15/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/12)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2012 Gr 5–8—Hans is a grave robber in training. He's been in training his whole life, ever since his adopted father found him floating in a chest at the seaside. The problem is that Hans doesn't like his work. He'd much rather sit and stare at the young countess in the nearby castle. Angela Gabriela von Schwanenberg would much rather perform her puppet plays around the world than be a "young lady" and married off as soon as she turns 13. Then the archduke sends for her and informs her that they will marry or he'll kill her family. She comes up with a plan to avoid this fate, which results in Angela and Hans both on the run. It also starts a domino effect that leads to a confrontation with the evil archduke that will either save the kingdom or cost them their lives. The story is a tad predictable but a fun read nonetheless. Savvy readers will quickly figure out Hans's parentage, but fans of fantasy and suspense will still enjoy watching as the details unfold.—Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2012 Hans has been helping his foster father pilfer graves since he washed up on the shores of the Archduchy of Waldland as a baby, but as he approaches his thirteenth birthday, he will be reluctantly going on his first solo grave-robbing adventure. Fortunately for Countess Angela Gabriel von Schwanenberg, Hans has been instructed to raid her family’s tomb-which is where she happens to be trapped after faking her own death to avoid a marriage to the evil archduke. After springing the twelve-year-old countess from her coffin, Hans decides to forgo graverobbing indefinitely and help the girl rescue her imprisoned parents. Pursued by the archduke, a necromancer, and the necromancer’s demonic minions, Hans and the young countess venture through a fairy-tale forest, complete with wolf kings, a traveling minstrel family, and a hermit guarding a very important secret regarding Hans’ true identity. Readers will guess early on who Hans truly is, but if anything, that makes the journey even more delightful as Stratton all but promises his audiences a happy ending-a promise that makes the chilling scenes with the necromancer and the truly lecherous archduke slightly more palatable. The pace and tone here are straight out of Storybook 101: the book starts off with a slow build and finishes with not one but three triumphant moments, all the while giving sly nods to the reader as each villain gets his comeuppance. Readers who like their fairy tales packed with action and happy endings will want to add this to their collection. KQG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 05/15/2012 *Starred Review* A lad who is unaware of his royal heritage. A young countess, arrogant yet remarkably brave. A deadly and despicable ruler. An evil underworldly character—well, let’s make that really, really evil—who might show up in readers’ dreams. This cast of characters is not very out of the ordinary in fantasy novels. But in Stratton’s capable hands, they leap from the pages (not literally, of course, but almost) and appear fascinatingly fresh. Hans is washed up on shore as a babe in a royal-crested box. Taken in by a grave robber, he learns the trade, though he looks longingly at Angela, Countess von Schwanenberg, whose passion is puppet theater. Then, suddenly, Angela is pulled from her royal world when Archduke Arnulf comes to claim her for his latest bride. And you can guess what happens to his brides. To save herself, Angela finds the Necromancer, an eyeless, hairless, rotting wraith, who is not her best hope, as it turns out. And so the adventure begins. Hans and Angela begin their quest and along the way find hermits, dancing bears, dastardly children, treachery, and friendship. Stratton tells it all in language as rollicking as a song, with almost as many amusing moments as there are heart-stopping ones. He also slips in some important messages: the power of imagination; the redeeming quality of kindness; and no matter how dire the straits, the need to believe in happy endings. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.