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ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS by Brandon Sanderson

ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS

By Brandon Sanderson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-439-92550-1
Publisher: Scholastic

On his 13th birthday, Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand and burns down his foster mother’s kitchen, beginning his involvement in the struggle between the Free Kingdoms and the world we know, controlled by a conspiracy of Evil Librarians. Part of the contradictory flavor of this self-referential fantasy is that the good guys are named for famous prisons. Alcatraz says this is the first volume of an autobiography that will prove he is not really a hero or even very nice. Members of his family have Talents we might call liabilities. Alcatraz breaks things. In the course of the story, he knocks down floors, a wall and two doors in the main library. The premise is intriguing and Sanderson gets in some good digs at pushers of books about dysfunctional families and dying dogs, but the joke becomes tiresome with repetition. Awkward similes add absurdity but stop the narrative flow. Alcatraz often interrupts his story with comments about reading, sometimes predicting accurately that we won’t believe the events on the page. He doubts that librarians will recommend this book. He may be right. (Fiction. 10-14)