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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Review: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson, Brandon. Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians. New York: Scholastic, 2008.

My name is not Alfonso, Alan, or Alfred. Nor is it Alejandro, Alton, Aldris, or Alonzo.

My name is Alcatraz. Alcatraz Smedry. Now some of you Free Kingdomers might be impressed by my name. That's wonderful for you, but I grew up in the Hushlands--in the United States itself. I didn't know about Occulators or the like, though I did know about prisons.

And that was why I figured that my parents must have had a twisted sense of humor. Why else would they name thier child after the most infamous prison in U.S. history?

On my thirteenth birthday, I received a second confirmation that my parents were indeed cruel people. That was the day when I unexpectedly received in the mail the only inheritance they left me.

It was a bag of sand.

Alcatraz Smedry is not a nice person. In fact, he's a cruel person, with no particular talents, unless you count his ability to break things. But when a crazy old man claiming to be his long lost grandfather shows up, everything Alcatraz knows about the world changes.

This book is a blast and a half. It is laugh out loud funny the whole way through. It's witty and clever and fun, and I couldn't put it down. And I know it sounds like it's pure silliness, but there are solid sci-fi themes running through it. Sanderson is a brilliant writer, and it shows. Even though he's just having fun, he knows how to build a world and develop a story.

There are a few times when the storyline goes a little over-the-top, where things seem to go a little too far. I mean, really, who would set a fire and then walk into the other room to look at something else? It barely makes sense. But because it fits with the general feel of the novel, we're willing to let it slide.

This novel is absolute perfect for reluctant readers. It's action-packed and funny, which will keep everyone's attention. If you are struggling to get your child to read, get them this book!


  1. I loved this series too. So much fin!

  2. I know! And I love that the writing is so good that I don't have to feel like I'm lowering my IQ just to take a break from "serious" books. I don't know how Brandon Sanderson does it, the man is a genius.