THE APPRENTICE by Pilar Molina Llorente


by & translated by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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 Originally published in Spain in 1989, a story that begins as an instructive look at apprenticeship in Renaissance Florence (no particular century or historical characters) and ends as a melodrama about a mysterious prisoner in a master painter's attic. Narrator Arduino is a prosperous tailor's son who prevails on his reluctant father to apprentice him to Cosimo di Forlç, an accomplished but mean-spirited painter who starves his young helpers and secretly keeps one in chains because the boy's ability outshines his own. Arduino discovers and befriends the talented Donato; and, when Cosimo falls ill midway through a major commission, he reminds him of the prisoner, who emerges to save the day and succeed his dying master. This predictable, old- fashioned tale, hinging on Donato's unlikely incarceration and told without subtlety, is a far cry from Johnny Tremain. Still, it's a slim, fast-paced read--and a rare translation of Spanish fiction. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1993
ISBN: 0-374-30389-4
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993