The Grave Robber's Apprentice [NOOK Book]

Overview

Hans doesn’t know who he is or where he came from. When he was a baby, he washed ashore in a wooden box and was adopted by the conniving grave robber Knobbe the Bent. Now fate has thrown him together with Angela von Schwanenberg, a young countess fleeing for her life from the evil Archduke Arnulf and his dreaded Necromancer. Together, these friends go on a daring quest to discover Hans’s true identity and save Angela’s parents from the archduke.

Join Hans and Angela on their ...

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The Grave Robber's Apprentice

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Overview

Hans doesn’t know who he is or where he came from. When he was a baby, he washed ashore in a wooden box and was adopted by the conniving grave robber Knobbe the Bent. Now fate has thrown him together with Angela von Schwanenberg, a young countess fleeing for her life from the evil Archduke Arnulf and his dreaded Necromancer. Together, these friends go on a daring quest to discover Hans’s true identity and save Angela’s parents from the archduke.

Join Hans and Angela on their grand adventure as they ride through the depths of the great forest, sled down a mountain in a coffin and sneak along the secret passageways of the archduke’s palace. The Grave Robber’s Apprentice is a world of highwaymen, hermits and dancing bears—and of a boy separated
from his family by the sea.

In this world anything is possible with luck and imagination—even for a grave robber’s apprentice.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
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
Publishers Weekly
Stratton (Borderline) invokes Shakes-pearean themes and influences to offer a fast-paced, entertaining historical fantasy. Found adrift in a wooden chest as a baby, Hans was adopted by the notorious grave robber Knobbe the Bent; at 13, he is chafing at the gruesome business of stealing from the dead. Angela is a teenage countess with a passion for puppetry and plays, who is unwillingly promised to the evil archduke Arnulf. Her plan to escape his clutches causes her to join forces with Hans, as they flee from the archduke and the wicked Necromancer. What they find are a band of reclusive monks with a secret, a family of traveling performers and their trained bears, and a group of unusually talented outlaws. As identities are revealed and prophecies fulfilled, it all comes down to some clever stage work to confront the archduke once and for all. While the target audience is likely to anticipate some of the twists, this clever tale hits all the right notes. It has the feel of a classic adventure story without rehashing overly familiar elements. Ages 10–up. (Mar.)
Kenneth Oppel
“A rollicking and enchanting fairy tale for the 21st century.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers who like their fairy tales packed with action and happy endings will want to add this to their collection.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers who like their fairy tales packed with action and happy endings will want to add this to their collection.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Readers who like their fairy tales packed with action and happy endings will want to add this to their collection."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Readers who like their fairy tales packed with action and happy endings will want to add this to their collection.”
The Times (London)
“Fans of Philip Pullman’s Clockwork and Ken Oppel will delight in Stratton’s wit and zest, and his jokes, twists, ghosts, wolves, prophecies and gothic tropes.”
Arthur Slade
“The Graverobber’s Apprentice is a tale told with sound and furious action—chock full of villainous villains, heroic heroes (and heroines), and moments of absolute hilarity. Stratton is a master at his craft and he’s given this story a heart of gold.”
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
As an infant, Hans washed up onshore in a chest. He was found and adopted by Knobbe the Bent, the grave robber, who raised him and started training Hans twelve years later. Hans hates the job and tries to avoid actually opening a casket for as long as possible. But he feels gratitude that Knobbe did not let him die. Hans often gazes at the castle where the Little Countess lives and dreams of a wonderful life like hers. However, Countess Angela Gabriela von Schwanenberg is not very happy. At the age of twelve, she is about to be married to the old and horrible archduke whose young wives tend to die very quickly. She gazes down at the forest and sees young Hans, envying his freedom. The two young people will meet under odd circumstances as Angela fakes her death to avoid marriage. As they fight to survive and uncover the archduke's evil plots, they learn the truth about Hans' mysterious chest. Sensitive readers may be frightened by the seriously creepy Necromancer who uses glass door knobs, grapes, or whatever is at hand to fill his empty eye sockets. Lovers of fairy tales will enjoy this adventure which is peppered with allusions to Shakespeare's plays. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
Kirkus Reviews
Stratton shows impressive versatility in a shift away from his intense teen fare--Chanda's Secrets (2004), Borderline (2010)--to a playfully dramatic adventure with swashbuckling kids, mountain hermits, avalanche sledding and circus bears. Infant Hans washes ashore in a wooden chest and is adopted by "a stumpy man of lumps and bumps"--a grave robber. Knobbe raises Hans to follow in his footsteps, though Hans can't see the honor in it as much as the immorality and ickiness. Nearby, countess Angela (almost 13, like Hans) lives in a castle, developing high-level skill at dramatic play and marionettes. Skirting a forced marriage to corrupt Archduke Arnulf, Angela procures a potion from the sinister local Necromancer to make herself seem dead; she'll be buried until Arnulf departs, then her parents will unbury her. But the Necromancer informs Arnulf, who kidnaps the parents, leaving Angela stuck in the coffin--until Hans unknowingly breaks in. Together they dodge peril and discover colorful comrades from forest to dungeon across the archduchy. Stratton's prose is artistic, clever and funny as it shows that even the oldest tropes can feel fresh and cheeky and that wisdom fits fine next to grossouts like poop buckets. The only blot is the Necromancer's blindness as a symbol of creepy evil. It's fun all the way as wit, daring and theatrical skills restore the archduchy. (Fantasy. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062099297
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/6/2012
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 603,091
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
  • File size: 21 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Allan Stratton is the internationally acclaimed author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book Chanda's Secrets. His novel Chanda's Wars was a Junior Library Guild selection, and his other novels, Borderline and Leslie's Journal, were both ALA Best Book for Young Adults selections. Allan has safaried in Africa, hiked the Great Wall of China, explored pyramids in Egypt, and flown over Cappadocia in a balloon. He lives with his partner in Toronto with four cats and a whole lot of fish.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Normal kid

    Never read anything like it. Its the best thing I ever read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Awesome book

    At first i thought this book would be lame, turns our it wasn't. I like the story of Hans and Peter the hermit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Good

    Great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!

    This book rocks and is full of suspence, action, and a little bit of romance i love this book!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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