Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

I was amazed I had to do an extended interlibrary loan to find this book, but pleased by the time it came in to find my own library already has the sequels. Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarianshad three generations of readers interested over Christmas vacation. My niece, her parents, and grandparents all were scrambling to finish the first novel before Grandma went back to Florida. By New Years, my niece was already working through the set I bought her for Christmas. I had preordered the last one released at the beginning of December to be sure it would be ready for Christmas.

My understanding is there are currently four books available.

Alcatraz Versus The Scrivener's Bones

Alcatraz Versus The Knights Of Crystallia

Alcatraz Versus The Shattered Lens

The rumor is Scholastic wants six books and the author only wants to write five. So readers who have finished the fourth are left waiting breathlessly while either the author finds another publisher or Scholastic gives in to angry readers who are demanding that the series be allowed to conclude. Scholastic is heavily dependent on loyal children reading their offerings so it is possible they could cave to pressure.

I am surprised more press has not been given to this series. I am not as current on children's literature as I was when I was in the classroom, but I still check around for good books for children. As a teacher, I was always looking for books that engaged kids. Series were a plus because when when a child finished one book, there was a desire to continue reading. This was a good thing. Sometimes it was hard to get them to break away and try new genres, but they were reading.

Another plus for this series is length. While many loved the doorstop quality of the Harry Potter novels, for challenged readers the length could be an obstacle. The Alcatraz novels are shorter making them more accessible and providing time for kids to read a variety of literature while still reading the whole series.

After polishing off my library copy, which is rather ironic if you have read the book, I have the second one on request. As I mentioned it is even available from my local library, which puts to test the author's theory that the librarians are suppressing the book as part of their evil plot to take over. You have to read the book to understand.

If you are looking for a fun fantasy series to check out for your classroom or your kids, Alcatraz might catch hold for you as it has in my family.

Pictures may not be used without written permission.


  1. I hadn't heard of this series, but it does sound like one my daughter would enjoy. Right now she's engrossed in the Percy Jackson books, which I must admit, are pretty good.

  2. I bought the boxed set of Percy Jackson for the same niece. I love that series. I also got her started on his other books as well.

  3. Thanks for the review! Is this something boys would like too? DS is always looking for the next series to get engrossed in and the smaller books would be better for him. There is no way he'd ever get through a Harry Potter book.

  4. I think it is a gender friendly series boys and girls will find something to enjoy. The main character is a boy, but there is a strong side kick character that is a girl which does not leave the girls out either.

  5. Sounds awesome. The problem we have is that my daughter (11 years old) tested at a college level for reading, so they never let her check out anything short from the school library. I hate buying small books, as she burns through them so fast. May have to see if our local library has them though, they sound great!

  6. I love books for the younger crowd, they can be so much fun. I will have to make a note of these.