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Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians…
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Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, No. 1) (edition 2008)

by Brandon Sanderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8758010,139 (3.75)177
Member:jjpionke
Title:Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, No. 1)
Authors:Brandon Sanderson
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2008), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:middle school, librarians, fantasy, humor, won at a raffle, my teacher loves me, at your library, grandfather, clumsiness, multigenerational, social issues, family

Work details

Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

  1. 10
    Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (Othemts)
  2. 10
    Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Othemts)
  3. 10
    The Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch (readafew)
    readafew: I think Jack Blank is very similar to Alcatraz and Harry Potter, though without the overt humor. Worth a read.
  4. 00
    A Box of Unfortunate Events (01-12) The Horrendous Heap by Lemony Snicket (Othemts)
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» See also 177 mentions

English (78)  German (2)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I really had a hard time following this book until the last quarter of it, but I think that might be my age, not the book. I used NovelList to see if I could find a book similar to Skulduggery Pleasant series & this is one that came up. By the end of the book, I wanted to read the next in the series. ( )
  SpockMonkeys | Mar 2, 2014 |
This was an entertaining book. It felt kind of like a mix between Harry Potter and the movies ‘The Librarian…’ and something else. I don’t know. It was interesting. The humor is not something I necessary think is funny, but there was a quirkiness to it that grows on you. I can tell that this is a book that younger kids would like but I also liked it alright. It’s a fit-all kind of book. I liked how the character was writing the book as if everything was real and the reader was in the dark. It draws the reader in, the way he narrators as if he is the author as well as the character. This book doesn’t have any phenomenal philosophy in it, or life lessons, or inspiring quotes, it’s not even a very high four star - but it’s a good read. It’s great to see that even Sanderson’s early works were pretty good. ( )
  Kassilem | Jan 24, 2014 |
The first disappointing read I have encountered from Sanderson, I found this to be poorly written, poorly characterized, and taking place in a poorly thought-out and poorly designed world. I think I just am completely lacking in the facet of humour that would make this book enjoyable.
For me, It was hard enough to suspend disbelief and get into Alcatraz's world. To make it even more difficult, at the start of each chapter, I was jerked out of the story by the first person narrator breaking the fourth wall and trying to make wise and sarcastic comments directly to the reader. He takes pot shots at most of the other fantasy series (especially Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis) which came off to me as petulant rather than funny. I found him unsympathetic and irritating. I won't be reading again, but depending on tolerance for breaking the fourth wall and some basic logical issues with the world, this could be a fun read, especially for a younger audience. ( )
  page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
In the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to like this. It was too weird and.. madcap. And the writing style seemed like a wannabe Lemony Snicket. But then it started to make sense, and the narrator said too many things I agreed with. Re: dead dogs.

So I might have to keep reading the series. ( )
  Jellyn | Aug 14, 2013 |
Alcatraz doesn't know he is an occulator, having grown up in various foster homes. It isn't until his 13th birthday (when his grandfather shows up) that he finds out he comes from a long line of occulators - those who can use magic glasses against the evil forces of librarians. Each Smedry is also born with a gift -- Alcatraz's gift is breaking things, Grandpa's gift is arriving late, and cousin Sing's gift is falling down. As the band of Smedrys tries to get back a precious bag of sand, they need all the gifts they can get, even if they don't seem helpful at first!

It reminded me a lot of Harry Potter (maybe a little too much). Take out doing magic and add in wearing magical glasses, swap Dumbledore for Grandpa Smedry, and add in some evil librarians and you know the plot. I think kids who enjoyed Harry Potter would also enjoy this book, but not if they are crazy fans...then they would just be disappointed to see the same plot with less wonder. ( )
  agrudzien | Aug 10, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
For all its self-aware preciosity, this still stands as a happily action-packed romp, with just the right amount of repartee between Alcatraz and his cantankerous teenage protector Bastille, and a cliffhanger ending that promises more of the same. Plus dinosaurs in tweed vests. Who could ask for more?
added by Katya0133 | editHorn Book Magazine (Jan 1, 2008)
 
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.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Nov 19, 2007)
 
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.
added by Katya0133 | editSchool Library Journal, Steven Engelfried (Nov 1, 2007)
 
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.
added by sad787d | editKirkus (Sep 1, 2007)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brandon Sandersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lungstrass, CharlotteTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
McWade, CharlieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
For my father, Winn Sanderson, who bought me books
First words
I am not a good person. (Foreword)
So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians. (Chapter 1)
Quotations
Some people assume that authors write books because we have vivid imaginations and want to share our vision. Other people assume that authors write because we are bursting with stories, and therefore must scribble those stories down in moments of creative propondidty.
Both groups are completely wrong. Authors write books for one, and only one, reason: because we like to torture people.
...
Take for instance, the word I used above. Propondidty. There is no such word — I made it up. Why? Because it amused me to think of thousands of readers looking up a nonsense word in their dictionaries.
You could even scan to the end and read the last page. Know that by doing so, however, you would violate every holy and honorable storytelling principle known to man, thereby throwing the universe into chaos and causing grief to untold millions.
Your choice.
By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer's greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kick back from the caffeine industry.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439925525, Mass Market Paperback)

The evil Librarians are coming!

A hero with an incredible talent...for breaking things. A life-or-death mission...to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network...the evil Librarians.
Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them!...by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:20 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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, and Alcatraz is introduced to his grandfather and his own special talent, and told that he must use it to save civilization.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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