The Resource Alcatraz versus the evil librarians, by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz versus the evil librarians, by Brandon Sanderson

Label
Alcatraz versus the evil librarians
Title
Alcatraz versus the evil librarians
Statement of responsibility
by Brandon Sanderson
Title variation
Alcatraz vs. the evil librarians
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand which is immediately stolen by the evil librarians who are trying to take over the world. Alcatraz is introduced to his grandfather and his own special talent, and told that he must use it to save civilization
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Gr 5–8 —The conventional trappings of the middle-school fantasy get turned upside down in this zany novel. Alcatraz is a 13-year-old boy with hidden powers, but his talent is "breaking things." The powerful object he must find is a bag of sand, he battles monsters made of paper, and his arch nemeses are evil librarians. It all sounds ludicrous, but there is actually some consistent logic that makes the adventures engaging, as well as silly. Seemingly random insertions, such as a bunch of very civilized dinosaurs that speak with English accents, later play key roles in the plot development. Alcatraz opens nearly every chapter by addressing readers directly, and frequently interrupts the narrative, a technique that adds to the enjoyable bizarreness. He reflects flippantly upon writing techniques, gives broad hints about what may happen next, and even tells outright lies about his own story. It takes a while to adjust to this intentionally chaotic narration, but it ultimately becomes quite effective. The details of this fantasy world, where librarians dominate "Hushlanders" by withholding information about many things, including the existence of three other continents, make just enough sense to frame the sometimes frantic plot. Though there's intentionally more humor than drama, Alcatraz becomes a more complex figure by the time his adventure is through as he discovers the value of friendship, courage, and family. Readers who prefer fantasy with plenty of humor should enjoy entering Alcatraz's strange but amusing world.—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR --Steven Engelfried (Reviewed November 1, 2007) (School Library Journal, vol 53, issue 11, p137)
  • /* Starred Review */ In Sanderson’s (Elantris ) children’s debut, an over-the-top fantasy/adventure, librarians are evil because they control all the information in Hushland (America). They distort some facts and fabricate the rest. Alcatraz, meanwhile, is the name of the protagonist, who has been raised in a series of foster homes. As the novel opens, on his 13th birthday, he is quickly initiated into the true nature of librarians by his heretofore unmet grandfather, Leavenworth Smedry. Before long, Sanderson brings on talking dinosaurs (it’s a librarian distortion that they’re extinct), a parallel world, visiting villains and more. The madcap plot can seem chaotic, with action pulling Alcatraz toward new characters at a breakneck speed, but Sanderson unexpectedly draws everything together in an extravagantly silly climax. Readers whose sense of humor runs toward the subversive will be instantly captivated: not only does the author poke fun at librarians, he lampoons books (including this one) in frequent passages directly addressed to readers: “You are saying to yourself, 'The story just lost me. It degenerated into pure silliness…. I’m going to go read a book about a boy whose dog gets killed by his mother. Twice.’” Like Lemony Snicket and superhero comics rolled into one (and then revved up on steroids), this nutty novel isn’t for everyone, but it’s also sure to win passionate fans. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed November 19, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 46, p58)
  • 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) (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
211468
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Sanderson, Brandon
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
730L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
Reading level
4.9
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Alcatraz vs. the evil librarians
Series volume
1
Study program name
Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Librarians
  • Grandfathers
  • Clumsiness
  • Heroes
  • Quests (Expeditions)
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Reading (Middle school)
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Alcatraz versus the evil librarians, by Brandon Sanderson
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
308 pages
Isbn
9780439925501
Lccn
2006038378
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
Alcatraz versus the evil librarians, by Brandon Sanderson
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
308 pages
Isbn
9780439925501
Lccn
2006038378
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

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