Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Versus the Evil LibrariansAlcatraz begins his book by telling us that he is going to be sacrificed on an altar by evil librarians and that he is not the hero that his people believe him to be. He is writing this book to set the record straight. But then he should begin at the beginning… He continually interrupts his narrative, usually at a very exciting bit, to address the reader and perhaps to talk about literary contrivances. The style is reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s writing.

Starting the story again, we learn that he is an orphan and that he has been shuffled from one foster home to another. He, unfortunately, breaks things and these have become the things that his foster parents value the most. Then on his 13th birthday he receives a box of sand which the note says is his inheritance from his parents whom he does not remember. Thinking how rotten his parents were to name him Alcatraz of all names and then to send him a box of sand for his birthday, he accidently sets fire to the kitchen. Then things start clipping along. The sand is stolen, a man shows up and tries to kill him and he is rescued by a man who claims to be his grandfather. Grandpa Smedry explains that Alcatraz comes from a long line of Occulators and that they have to get the sand back because it will make the most powerful lenses known. He says that Alcatraz’s great power is the power to break things. This turns out to be true. In the quest for the sand, Alcatraz breaks floors and walls, he fights alongside a 15 year old girl warrior and travels with a man whose special power is tripping and knowledge of weaponry. They are tracking the evil Librarian and have infiltrated the central Library.

The book rollicks along with all kinds of dangers, silliness and distortions to reality until the reader hardly knows which end is up! Can the author convince children that librarians are evil and that they promote a distorted view of the world? Ha! Possibly! You’ll have to read it! This is a good book for silly fantasy lovers in grades 5-8.

Posted by: Fran W.

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