✰✰✰½ Alcatraz Smedry is just an average kid in foster care... or is he? He always sensed that he was a little bit different from the other kids; after all he has a knack for breaking things. However, things really start to get strange when he receives a mysterious birthday gift containing a seemingly normal bag of sand from the parents he has never known. Soon his whole world is turned upside down when the sand is stolen.
As Alcatraz prepares to leave yet another foster home, a man claiming to be his grandfather appears. His grandfather suspects that a cult of evil Librarians has stolen the sand. As his grandfather fills Alcatraz in, he discovers that things are not what they seem to be. Before dire consequences set in, this unlikely duo must undertake a dangerous mission to infiltrate the central library and recover the stolen sand as soon as possible. And as if that's not enough, Alcatraz discovers that his knack for breaking things is actually a "talent." Of course all Smedrys have a "talent," but Alcatraz's is something special. With help of his newfound abilities and an interesting slew of companions, Alcatraz learns about the importance of friendship and family as together they rush to put a stop to the evil Librarians.
The Bottom Line: Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians is a quick read that's loaded with lots of action, adventure, and fun. The narrator, who talks directly to the reader, is snarky and humorous. This book is the first in a series that's sure to be a hit with middle grade readers who enjoy fantasy.
Details: Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. Paperback published by Scholastic Inc. in 2007. 320 p. ISBN: 978-439-92552-5
For more information on upcoming books, visit Brandon Sanderson's website.