The Magician's Apprentice

Kate Banks, illustrated by Peter Sís

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Baz has always dreamed about following his two older brothers out of his dusty little town, so when a stranger comes to his family's home and asks him to be a weaver's apprentice, Baz is eager to start his journey. But when he reaches the village of Kallah and starts his apprenticeship, Baz learns that his master is very cruel. And when the master trades Baz to a magician for a sword, Baz expects no better from his new owner. But as Baz travels with this kind-hearted and wise magician, their journey takes him across the desert, up a mountain, and into the depths of life’s meaning. He learns to re-examine his beliefs about people, the world, and himself, discovering that the whole world is connected and no person can ever be owned.


Read an Excerpt

The promise had been made. Like any promise it sealed a commitment, but in a golden orb of hope and expectation. In the days that followed, the promise became a sort of roaming vision to Baz, a mysterious open door, imbued with the power to propel him into the future, to see himself as something more than he was.
The stranger had appeared, it seemed, from nowhere. He wandered into the village coupled with a horse whose dark satin coat he stroked rhythmically. Every so often he would whisper in the horse’s ear. Then he would smile or laugh as though they were sharing a secret


Praise for The Magician's Apprentice

"Banks has woven a beautiful, mystical journey that will enable insightful readers to ponder their own callings and place in the world.”--School Library Journal


"A moving, thoughtful apprentice tale.”--Kirkus

"Sís’s distinctive, diminutive line drawings appear throughout as spot illustrations, perfectly complementing the understated yet rich voice in which Baz’s story is told.”--Publishers Weekly

". . . beautiful . . ." —Booklist

". . . lyrical, imagistic, and thought-provoking." —Horn Book

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Kate Banks, illustrated by Peter Sís

  • Kate Banks is the award-winning author of many books, including most recently This Baby. She lives in the south of France. Peter Sis is the three-time Caldecott-Honor writer/illustrator of many books, including Tibet Through the Red Box. He lives in Westchester County, New York.
  • Kate Banks
  • Peter Sís Copyright Palma Fiacco Fotografin
    Peter Sís


Available Formats and Book Details

The Magician's Apprentice

Kate Banks, illustrated by Peter Sís