Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson is, hands down, my favorite Sunshine State Book of the year. This book is just fun and perfect for middle grades and teen readers! The humor in it is tinged with adolescent sarcasm, and has Lemony Snickett-esque warnings and asides to the reader sprinkled throughout the story. I will definitely being looking for more books from this author, and I hope that the series will continue to be as enjoyable as this first book.
Summary: Alcatraz Smedry has spent his life shuffling from one foster home to another thanks to his uncanny ability to break things. In his latest home, he has just caught fire to the kitchen when some even more shocking and destructive events suddenly take over his life.
Alcatraz escapes a man attempting to kill him and joins forces with a crazy man who claims to be his grandfather in order to claim his inheritance, which he had both received and had stolen in the same day. Alcatraz discovers that he is one in a long, distinguished line of Smedry family members who are Oculators (a job that involves wearing some very powerful glasses) with Talents, and the family business is….well, it’s a little hard to explain.
Basically, the world as you, dear reader, know it is ruled by a vast librarian cult who controls the populace by controlling the information we have access to. Librarian-controlled lands are, appropriately enough, called the Hushlands. The Smedry family, along with other freedom fighters, is working to prevent the librarians from taking over the remaining Free Kingdoms.
Alcatraz’s inheritance, a bag of very special sand that his father has painstakingly collected over the years, must be retrieved from the librarians before they can create lenses with it – for the lenses created could have untold powers! Can Alcatraz, his grandfather, and a few other brave souls infiltrate the library and recover the sands before they can be used against the Free Kingdoms? Are dinosaurs really British? And what is up with the random repetition of “rutabaga?” And how can being late be considered a life-saving talent? Read Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians to find out!
10 and up
Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none