Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians1Title: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians
Author: Brandon Sanderson
ISBN: 0439925525
Pages: 308 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Inc., 2007.

“So, there I was, tied to an alter made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians.” (1)

This is how thirteen year old Alcatraz Smedry begins his true account of how his grandfather and he infiltrated the public library to steal back a bag of sand. That’s right, Alcatraz’s only gift from his supposedly dead parents arrives on his 13th birthday, and it’s a bag of sand, which is promptly stolen by the evil Librarians. His madcap adventure ultimately deals with dinosaurs, paper monsters reminiscent of the creatures from Harry Potter, and Talents that appear worthless, such as arriving late and falling down. In the end however, they all prove their worth. Read Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson for some hillarious encounters that could only be described in the words of Alcatraz as “propondidty”.

The first sentence (quoted above) is now my favorite first sentence. What a great way to start off a book! That’s the way the book continues with cliff hanger endings for (almost) every chapter, which Alcatraz (aka Sanderson) acknowledges at one point. “I’ve worked very hard — perhaps I will explain why later — to frustrate you. One of the way I do this is by leaving cliff-hangers at the ends of chapters.” (148). There’s also a very funny scene where Alcatraz encounters dinosaurs, and refers to the Pterodactyl as “Charles” because “Have you ever tried to spell Pterodactyl?” In fact, go back amongst that passage, and you’ll see that everytime the word appears, it’s spelled differently. It’s the little details that make this book, and readers will hopefully be delighted as I was when specific references are made to previous forshadowings. For Monty Python fans (like myself) don’t miss the reference to the Holy Grail movie on page 257. The sequel is out already, so look for that in the coming reviews (just as soon as I finish reading all the Book Parade and Battle of the Books titles, which are both going on at my library currently.)

Unshelved did a comic strip for it as part of their Book Club!