Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians (Book #1)
"On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand in the mail, an inheritance from his lost parents. When it is immediately stolen, he learns that it is no ordinary bag of sand. With it, the evil Librarians who secretly rule the Hushlands--Librarian-controlled nations, such as the United States, Canada, and England--will finally overtake the Free Kingdoms as well. Alcatraz and his ragtag band of freedom fighters must stop them, once and for all."
One of my book group friends recommended this series to me about a year ago, and I got them at the library for my son, but never had the chance to read them myself. I got them again for my daughter to read, and was finally able to read the first one. I have to say, this book is so much fun! The voice in the book is hilarious! It's told in first person, and I don't think I've read another book where the first person narrator is so engaging and humorous. Alcatraz is pulled into this crazy world of evil librarians and conspiracies, and even though he's the supposed hero, the first words in the book are, "I am not a good person." It's a (fictional) autobiography of Alcatraz and his life story. I love how he says in the book that the evil Librarians will advertise it as a fictional book (because they don't want the truth out), but it's really an autobiography. So fun. It is very well written, engaging, creative, imaginative, and humorous. Yes, there are some scary parts where Alcatraz, Bastille, Grandpa Smedry, and Sing are in grave danger and have to fight those evil Librarians, but the way they're written makes it seem not so bad. I love the idea of the different lenses (Want more info. on the lenses....read the book!), and how there are more continents on the earth that those evil Librarians have gotten away with not teaching us about. Hahaha!! I knew some of those librarians were secretly evil! Alcatraz is a great character. He's definitely not perfect, but in the book that imperfection becomes his strength, which is a great lesson! I love that part too. Grandpa Smedry is awesome too. Bastille is a little rougher around the edges, but I liked her more as the book went on. If you're looking for a fun middle-grader/YA series, look no further! There are five books in the series; as a mom, I love finding series for my kids to read because then I know I have five good books in a row for them to read. I highly recommend this book!
Rating: PG (There is no profanity and no "intimacy." There is some violence with characters being tortured-it's not too graphic, fighting with different weapons, and lots of stuff breaking. Of course there is a bad guy, and he's a really good bad guy!!)
Recommendation: 3rd grade and up (It's a great middle-grader/YA book!)