The Apprentice Witnesser

Bren MacDibble

A brilliant ‘voice book’ with intriguing world-building, full of wonder, peril, persistence, despair and triumph – and ending with love and hope. From the multi award-winning, bestselling author of How to Bee, The Dog Runner and The Raven’s Song.

I smile and I want to capture this moment of me looking at him, coz I think this might be one of those acts of love. So many little moments in the lives of ordinary people that make them feel good. That’s what my photos are. Little moments. All the good moments, the kind moments, the moments of care and love that, if you add them all together, make a life sweet.

Bastienne Scull is a young orphan who lives with Lodyma Darsey, the local Witnesser of Miracles – who investigates what’s behind miraculous events and spins them into stories she tells at the night markets in exchange for food.

After her husband and oldest son died of a sickness that continues to sweep the land, Lodyma sent her 15-year-old son Osmin into the hills to live with the mountain men. That was ten years ago and she doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead. And she’s taken Bastienne as an apprentice to fill the void of her lost family.

One day, two young boys arrive in town asking Lodyma to go on a mysterious mission to a monastery. And when Lodyma and Bastienne arrive, what they discover will change their lives.

A wonderful novel, full of hope, courage, resilience and family.

A classic MacDibble: young Basti is a delight as she searches for her strength and a family in a post-apocalyptic world, leaving us with a glimmer of hope for her future and our own.

- Wendy Orr

Bren MacDibble has become well-known for her unique and heartfelt adventure novels ... and The Apprentice Witnesser, is no exception... She is particularly astute at writing timely and inventive stories exploring the impacts of climate change. [There are] plenty of twists for younger readers who enjoy a good dash of marvel and intrigue with their adventure stories. MacDibble's use of language is unparalleled, and she illustrates hope and resilience through her characters.

- Books & Publishing

Middle Grade Fiction

Bren MacDibble

Bren MacDibble was raised on farms all over New Zealand. After 20 years in Melbourne, Bren sold everything and spent two years living and working in a bus travelling around Australia. In 2018, How to Bee won the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature, and the New Zealand Book Awards Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction. In 2019 The Dog Runner won the New Zealand Book Awards Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction. The Raven’s Song, co-written with Zana Fraillon was shortlisted for the CBCA Award for Younger Readers.

Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin is Australia’s leading independent publisher and is the 2023 Publisher of the Year, a title we’ve now held fifteen times. Our lists are unrivalled in scope and quality, our focus on original ideas and voices, and our acclaimed authors and titles amongst Australia’s best.