The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch

Delaney, J. (2005) The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch.  New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.


At thirteen, Tom Ward is at an age where he is expected to begin making his own way in the world – or at least learning how to, in any case.  The problem is, as the youngest child in a large family, there aren’t a whole lot of options left for him.  Jack, the eldest, will inheirit the farm and most of their parent’s meager savings have already gone to paying for apprenticeships for Tom’s older brothers.  Tom isn’t just the youngest, though, he’s also the seventh son of a seventh son, and that makes him the perfect candidate to become the newest apprentice for the local Spook – the shadowy man whose job it is to keep the spirits at bay.  As he leaves his home for the first time, Tom isn’t just worried about being homesick or passing his trial period, he’s worried about living through his inevitable encounters with the things that go bump in the night.


This book was seriously both creepy and scary.  It wasn’t exactly Supernatural level of frightening, but it definitely gave me goosebumps and kept me turning the pages.  It’s also well written, fantastically illustrated, and has characters, themes, and plots with plenty of depth.  Tweens of all ages will love the scary stories and all but the youngest of tweens will also be drawn in by Tom’s moral and emotional dilemnas.

Best for ages 10-14

Awards and Reviews: ALA Best Books for Young Adults

Series Website:


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