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Alcatraz und die dunkle Bibliothek (Alcatraz #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  17,313 Ratings  ·  2,666 Reviews
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is the first adventure in a fantasy series for young readers by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. The fast-paced and funny series is now available in deluxe hardcover editions illustrated by Hayley Lazo.

On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry gets a bag of sand in the mail-his only inheritance f
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published June 4th 2008 by Heyne (first published October 2007)
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J Tohabath This entire series is mainly about questioning author/reader conventions in the format of a children's book. It's underrated, as far as I'm concerned,…moreThis entire series is mainly about questioning author/reader conventions in the format of a children's book. It's underrated, as far as I'm concerned, but understandably it isn't for everyone. Essentially, just give it a go. It's mostly harmless, and it has my recommendation.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
For the record: listened to this one on audio.

This book is what you'd expect from Sanderson. Good story. Nice rapid plot. An interesting well-orchestrated cosmology. And a cool magic system that's central to the story.

Two things of special note:

1. Unlike most of Sanderson's other work, this book is aimed at a YA audience. I still enjoyed it. But if you're looking for a grim, 800-page tome, this isn't it.

2. This book is fairly meta, especially for YA. It's first person, but the narrator regula
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Artemis Fowl, Lemony Snicket
Also known as The Official Author's Notes for The Way of Kings.

Stay with me.

The first clue is in Chapter 2. "I've been many things in my life. Student. Spy. Sacrifice. Potted plant. However, at this point, I'm something completely different from all of those--something more frightening than any of them. I'm a writer."

He gives structural tips (and a hint as to his personality):
"You may have noticed that I began my story with a quick, snappy scene of danger and tension--but then quickly moved on t
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Meet MC; his name is Al short for Alcatraz (it is not his fault the evil librarians use the most famous names of his dynasty for the most notorious prisons). The book starts with poor guy being tied to a bunch of outdated encyclopedias and is about to be sacrificed (Indiana Jones and the Tempe of Doom way) – say what you want about the evil librarians, but they sure got style.
Temple of Doom

Chronologically it all started innocently enough. Alcatraz was an orphan who was changing foster parents faster than you
Robin (Bridge Four)
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: of Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling
On sale Sept 7 2016 on Amazon for $2.99

Buddy Read with Buddies Books and Baubles and the Sandersonitus gang.

Did you know that Librarians were evil??? I’ve always suspected but didn’t know just how deep the conspiracy went until I read this book.

What does a writer do when he needs to get the creative juices going and take a break from one of the many serious tombs he is writing? Well if he is Brandon Sanderson he writes something completely and utterly different and a bit silly and makes fun of

Heads up! Goodreads librarian agents might try to get this review taken down at any moment! They definitely don’t want me exposing all their secretly nefarious ways, but at long last, I give to you the truth:

Fact #1: This book is NOT written by Brandon Sanderson.

This is NOT “fantasy”. Don’t be fooled. It is written by Alcatraz Smedry—grandson of Oculator Dramatus, Leavenworth Smedry. His editor only made him use Sanderson’s name to keep away librarian attention. This is Alcat
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Think Harry Potter only with evil Librarians but a lot better.

Although it’s obviously written for young readers, it was still entertaining for adults. The story was fast paced and very humorous. The characters are fun and relatable as far possible in this type of story. It’s a quick read and well worth it.

Perfect for kids. I think it would be a great bedtime story that parents could read with their kids. If anyone still does that.

J.L.   Sutton
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Big fan of Brandon Sanderson. It's always interesting to think about the magic system Sanderson uses in whatever work you're reading. He always changes things up. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is no exception. In this fun read, Alcatraz's talent is his uncanny ability to break things. While this might not seem like part of a magical system at first, keep reading! I enjoyed the book and plan to get back to this series. But maybe after I read Oathbringer!
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at the BiblioSanctum

I’ve been a terrible Brandon Sanderson fan! Seriously, how else to explain for the many years it took me to finally read his Alcatraz series? Mea culpa, it was complete negligence on my part, and I am sorry. But in my own defense, these books do fall a little outside my purview. After all, very rarely do I dip my toes into the Children’s/Middle Grade category, and they did seem far removed from the author’s other work. By
TS Chan
Brandon Sanderson can write an instruction manual for a lawnmower and I’ll read it.

I only started reading the Alcatraz series after I’ve run out of Sanderson's adult and YA fantasy books to read, and these books quickly became bite-sized guilty pleasures on account of how hilarious and ridiculous they are.

In the Hushlands—those Librarian-controlled nations such as the United States, Canada, and England—this book will be published as a work of fantasy. Do not be fooled! This is no work of fic
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths

The first adventure in the young adult fantasy series Alcatraz The Evil Librarians was one which I and my youngest son read as a bedtime story. As a fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and Mac Barnett’s Brixton Brothers mysteries, I knew the novel was a can’t miss with the little Bookwraith, and I wasn’t wrong. This fast-paced, funny tale by Brandon Sanderson bringing more than a few smiles to my face and eliciting many a hysterical giggle from my son, w
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the young at heart folks at BB&B!

This sucks!!! I had written a review, I had made it funny and adorable, as well as recommended this book not only to the middle graders for whom it was written, but also to all those who enjoy a fantastical adventure written with such wonderful flare and wit, that you have no choice but fall in love with it and wonder why the heck did you wait so long to get to this brilliant series!!!! I had written it, but somehow it has gotten l
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, when people try to give you some book with a shiny round award on the cover, be kind and gracious, but tell them you don't read "fantasy," because you prefer stories that are real. Then come back here and continue your research on the cult of evil Librarians who secretly rule the world.

Will it ever come a day when I'll give Brandon Sanderson less than 5 stars? I don't think so.

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians was so much fun to read. I think the humor was my favorite part of this book. Th
Marnie  Krüger
Only Alcatraz Sanderson can take something as mundane as sand and an orphan klutz and turn it into this amazing piece of work!


First Sentence: 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.

I really enjoyed this, the humor is spot on, the sarcasm and quips make you laugh out loud.
The plot is lively, entertaining and full of twists and turns that you might - or might not have predicted. And of course one

Marta Álvarez
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No leía un middle grade tan divertido desde Percy Jackson (aunque es más sencillito que este, le faltan subtramas. De momento).
Tiene un puñado de personajes divertídisimos y no por eso menos interesantes, y una historia conspiranoica que te hará disfrutar preguntándote "¿y si...?" respecto a tu propia realidad. Solo Brandon Sanderson, aka "hago que dibujar con tiza en el suelo se convierta en un combate trepidante" podía ingeniar un mundo en el que los bibliotecarios son los amos del mal que
Helen 2.0
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Helen 2.0 by: Robin (Bridge Four)
5 stars for pure entertainment value. I laughed my ass off reading this book.

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is about Alcatraz Smedry, an orphan whose neglectful grandfather lets him wither away in foster homes for the first 13 years of his life (Dumbledore much?). The Smedry family is infamous for the talents that grace each individual member; Alcatraz has an extraordinary talent for breaking things. Because of this talent foster families are quick to give him up, resulting in Alcatraz bei
Probably a bit more like 3.5 or 3.75 stars because I'm intrigued enough to read the next one.
This was definitely a fun read and journey, and the narration was hilarious (that Harry Potter shade at the end tho
Franco  Santos
"It looks... dangerous," I said.
"Well, of course," Bastille said. "It's a library."
Gran libro de Sanderson. Tiene un ritmo rápido, mucho humor y, por supuesto, una trama muy original. En este el autor aborda el verdadero lugar del poder, en dónde reside en realidad, y lo importante que es la información para nuestro comportamiento: cómo todo se reduce a cuán informada está una sociedad o un individuo. Es decir, quien controla la información, maneja al pueblo. Muy interesante planteo de Sanders
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only those who breath oxygen.

I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again. That is all you need to know.

PS: I once read that this was written for middle grade and then forgot about it because middle grade. Recently I saw it again and realised that I just had to give it a chance because how can you not read everything your favorite author has ever written?

200 odd pages later followed by the sound of a mic drop.

*takes a humble bow


Kells Next Read
Laugh out Loud entertaining. Must Read!!!
3,75 / 5

La historia nos cuenta como Alcatraz Smedry, un niño huérfano y bastante problemático que lleva toda su vida rotando de familia en familia, recibe para su decimotercer cumpleaños un curioso paquete que contiene una bolsa de arena, la cual supuestamente es herencia de sus padres según la nota que la acompaña. La bolsa es robada sin que Alcatraz se dé cuenta, y es cuando nuestro protagonista conoce de primera mano la conspiración de los Bibliotecarios Malvados, los cuales controlan en secr
Hannah Greendale
When Alcatraz received his inheritance on this thirteenth birthday, he never expected it to be a bag of sand. But then again, his parents named him Alcatraz, so it's no wonder they left him something bizarre. Turns out, it's no ordinary bag of sand, and Alcatraz is no ordinary orphan boy. He's about to embark on an adventure where a cult of evil Librarians rule the world, and the only way he can stop them is to venture into the depths of a labyrinthine library armed with a pair of eyeglasses and ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrns, fantasy
If I was a middle grader, this would definitely be a 5 star read! What a funny, surreal and original story! It really is very charming. Evil baddies ( Librarians) and a hilarious cast of heros who have talents that you have never seen before, battle it out in (and I hope this isn't a spoiler!) a library..

Alcatraz the hero of our story talks directly to the reader in a way which is very funny and engaging. As a teacher myself, I also approve entirely of the way in which Sanderson almost tutors th
Tessy Nightblood Ijachi
”In the Hushlands – those Librarian-controlled nations such as the United States, Canada, and England – this book will be published as a work of fantasy. Do not be fooled! This is no work of fiction, nor is my name really Brandon Sanderson. Both are guises to hide the book from Librarian agents.”

You have been warned, this is not really a book by Brandon Sanderson but rather by Alcatraz Smedry. I know right? I almost fell for those librarian tricks, it's a good thing I know the truth.

All jokes
Sep 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a zany and slightly philosophical look at a world ruled by evil Librarians!
We met Brandon Sanderson at a book reading/signing yesterday. Such fun! He seemed very nice and thoroughly excited about his creations. Younger than I'd expected and also very "normal" but fun. Most people were there for his other (adult fantasy) books and the majority of the Q&A revolved around his taking over the "Wheel of Time" series now that its original author has passed away. I think, for this reason, he was extremely excited when we showed up with a copy of "Alcatraz" for him to sign ...more
I'm shelving this as "fantasy" because, well... I don't want to call the attention of the Librarians down upon my head. They're mean and will probably try to kill me for letting the cat out of the bag. This book was banned, and for good reason. Hopefully, they'll just look at the shelf tags, and not the actual review. I don't want to be silenced.

Alcatraz Smedry (writing as some "Brandon Sanderson" guy as a cover) tells his story, and quite a story it is. Librarians have been keeping us all in t
Bonnie Shores
This book reads like the author is super successful and doesn't ever need to write again, but he lost a bet or something and is forced to churn out a book. It comes across to me as smug. To illustrate, here are some of the author's own words (strewn throughout the story)...

"Are you annoyed with me yet? Good. I've worked very hard. Honestly, authors can be so self-indulgent."

"Authors write books for one, and only one, reason. Because we like to torture people."

"Now, if you're ever writing a
***Wanda's Summer Carnival of Children's Literature***

Cute, funny, and smart. Add in a coterie of Evil Librarians, plus magical skills acquired through the wearing of lenses (i.e. glasses). Also very meta, in that the author talks directly to the reader. A lot.

Of course, working in libraries, I was predisposed to love this. (Although I shouldn’t—I should be suppressing this work, like a good Evil Librarian).

I would recommend it for children who are dismayed about needing glasses. I think it woul
I'm so bummmed....I've been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it about a year ago. I really wanted to like it because:

1. it's got a great title
2. I've met the author and think he's delightful and a nice guy to boot
3. children's literature is due another winner
4. did I mention I really like the title?
5. the bits I'd read seemed good
6. the concept held promise
7. (I don't really have a seventh reason, but the number 6 seemed icky to end on. Seven has such strength and balance that
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
[5 Stars] This one is a bit of an acquired taste! I loved it, but beware because this one might annoy you if you are not familiar with Sanderson's sense of humor!
Duffy Pratt
I was a little disappointed. I love the name of this book, and in my opinion, other Sanderson books aren't too far away from Young Adult, especially the Mistborn series. So I didn't expect as much pandering and condescension as there is here. Mostly, this felt to me like an awkward mash-up of the set-up of Harry Potter, the narration of Lemony Snickett, and the slightly annoying voice of Percy Jackson.

And it felt to me like Sanderson was not comfortable in this vein, and trying too hard, especi
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Brandon’s major books for the second half of 2016 are The Dark Talent, the final volume in Alcatraz Smedry’s autobiographical account of his battle against the Evil Librarians who secretly rule our world, and Arcanum Unbounded, the collection of short fiction in the Cosmere universe that includes the Mistborn series and the Stormlight
Archive, among others. This collection features The Emperor’s S
More about Brandon Sanderson

Other books in the series

Alcatraz (6 books)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Alcatraz, #2)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia (Alcatraz, #3)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens (Alcatraz, #4)
  • The Dark Talent (Alcatraz, #5)
  • Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians: The Worldspire (Alcatraz, #6)

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“You see, that is the sad, sorry, terrible thing about sarcasm.

It's really funny.”
“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 kickback from the caffeine industry...” 1400 likes
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