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Alcatraz #3: Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia Hardcover – October 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Alcatraz (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 043992555X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439925556
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—Fresh from his victorious campaign in Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Scholastic, 2008), Alcatraz anticipates a triumphal return to his ancestral home. However, all is not well there. A deputation of Librarians, led by the fearsome She Who Cannot Be Named, is demanding that the realm of Mokia be handed over as a concession for ending their longstanding war, and Alcatraz suspects that the delegation is part of a more sinister Librarian scheme. Meanwhile, his friend and ally, Bastille, is facing disgrace as a result of their previous adventures and has lost her title of full Knight of Crystallia. Something is seriously amiss in Crystallia as well. With the help of a "recovering" Librarian and a hero-worshipping Prince, Alcatraz and Bastille must try to uncover the plot before the Librarian brute squad gets them all. As in his earlier adventures, Alcatraz frequently "breaks page" to address readers with side comments, instructions, and, occasionally, complaints and insults. Character relationships depend heavily on the previous books, although good and evil roles are less rigidly defined this time around. Alcatraz's changing perception of his parents is particularly interesting. He begins to sense love from the Librarian mother he has feared and hated, even as he grows concerned that his father may pose an unexpected threat to the Kingdoms. The rather complicated plot can be challenging to follow, and plenty of threads are left dangling for yet another sequel. Beneath the wild humor, there are surprisingly subtle messages about responsibility and courage.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Brandon Sanderson is the author of the Mistborn Trilogy and Elantris, which Orson Scott Card called "the finest novel of fantasy to be written in many years." Alcatraz Smedry Versus the Evil Librarians is Brandon's first book for kids. He writes and plays with swords in Provo, Utah.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I bought them all after I checked them all out of the local library and read them in a week.
Roxanna Peterson
We enjoyed reading this series as a family, and my children have been re-reading the books with pleasure.
It's all done well, and very effectively from a comedy standpoint, but it's very over the top.
Bryce Dayton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Adrian on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase



Ok, you've read past the warnings, so prepared to be shown some of the brilliance that comes from the mind of Brandon Sanderson.


"I glanced to the side, then jumped as I saw an enormous reptile crawling along the sides of the buildings towards us. Like a spider crawling across the front of a fence.

"Dragon!" I yelled, pointing.

"Brilliant observation, Smedley," Bastille noted besides me.

I was too alarmed to make an amazing comeback. Fortunately, I'm the author of this book, so I can rewrite history as I feel necessary. Let's try that again.


I glanced to the side, whereupon I noticed a dangerous scaly lizard slithering its way along the sides of the buildings, obviously bent on devouring us all.

"Behold!" I bellowed. " 'Tis a foul beast of the netherhells. Stand behind me and I shall slay it!"

"Oh, Alcatraz," Bastille breathed. "Thou art awesomeish and manlyish"

"Lo, let it be such," I said."


This is the typical wit and banter on page after page of this wonderfully light hearted and imaginative Alcatraz series of books. It's full of ideas you wouldn't have dreamed of, such as having talents like tripping, being late, being obnoxious and breaking things! I was hooked from the very first book, and to me, it seems like Mr Sanderson gets better and better with each book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mathachew on April 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Below is an excerpt of my full review of the first four books in the Alcatraz series:

This review goes in line with that of the Alcatraz series, more specifically the attitude of a Smedry. You see, they are trouble makers, and are prone to getting themselves into life threatening situations. They have an uncharacteristic attitude when dealing with any situation. The more danger, the more excited they are. Through thick and thin, Smedry's are rarely to be found with a sour mood. They are bubbly, charismatic, bold, audacious, and have a knack for getting themselves into trouble. Wait, I said that did I not? Gack! You see, I imitating a number of characters found in this book. Granpa Smedry, Alcatraz, talking dinosaurs. Yes, you read correctly, talking dinosaurs with a British accent, and as we know, those Brits are refined, calm, and well-mannered; dinosaurs are no exception! They really know how to cause trouble for Librarians, like eating the entire C section of the Science Fiction shelf and moving six books out of their proper places. Okay, so maybe they are useless as Bastille said... The only thing worse than talking dinosaurs are talking rocks, but I tell you, the dinosaurs are a treat! To round off this paragraph, I leave you this quote from Grandpa Smedry if you think I am making any of this up:

I am a Smedry, and we do ridiculous, unexpected, eccentric things like this all the time.

The Alcatraz series is a tremendously fun read. My friend that recommended Mistorn and Elantris did not bother giving these books a shot because of their young adult emphasis, despite being a lover of Sanderson's work. Aspiring Asimovs, what a horrible reason! Lots of fun, many laugh out loud moments, tons of humor and wit, with a great story to boot!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After two books, Alcatraz is finally on his way home. Home - a place he's never been. Home for Alcatraz is the Free Kingdom city of Nalhalla - where his father and grandfather grew up, and near where is best friend Bastille, one of the Knights of Crystallia, also was raised. Of course, right now Bastille has been stripped of her armor because she lost her sword - actually, Alcatraz broke it -although no one believes THAT because their swords are unbreakable. But the Smedry talents are indisputable, and historical. Either way, Bastille must prove herself to win back her armor and her position. But Alcatraz is in for more than one surprise, and that's before his flying crystal bird, Hawkwind, explodes mid-air.

His first inkling that things were different was when he saw that all the buildings were castles. A little unusual, but ok. When he found out that one of the three largest: A - the king's castle, B - the Knights of Crystallia, C - ?? what do you mean, Smedry's????????

OK. So, his family was a little more important than he figured. And everyone knew who he - Alacatraz - was. They knew his mother - The Evil Librarian - married his father to get his Smedry talent, and then stole Alcatraz after he was born. Having strangers waving to him on the street has him disconcerted, but he's adaptable. When the dragon appears to taxi them, Alcatraz decides adaptable is a good thing. But being transported to another building in under a second - WOW. That's just cool. Finding out your father - estranged father, despite finding him and traveling with him - discovered how to do this - really cool. Discovering your father won't give you the time of day? Absolutely uncool.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

I'm Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers.

January 2015 marks the release of Firefight, the sequel to Steelheart. When only evil people gain super powers and become tyrants, it's up to normal people to hunt them down. There is a free 5-chapter preview ebook of Steelheart here on Amazon that you should check out, with a corresponding sampler audiobook on Audible. My Firefight book tour in the US lasts throughout January.

Recent short releases are Legion: Skin Deep (sequel to Legion), the further investigations of an average man whose many hallucinations are all experts in their own fields, and also my novella Sixth of the Dusk, set in the same universe as Mistborn and Stormlight, revolving around an attack on an island trapper's way of life.

My biggest recent epic fantasy is Words of Radiance, written as a love letter of sorts to the epic fantasy genre. It continues the story of the Stormlight Archive that began in The Way of Kings, and it's the type of book I always dreamed epic fantasy could be. October 2015 and January 2016 will also see the release of two new Mistborn books, Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning.

Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive are among my most popular works, as are my concluding volumes to Robert Jordan's epic series The Wheel of Time. My novella The Emperor's Soul won a Hugo Award in 2013. That year also marked the release of my first young adult fantasy, The Rithmatist.

Sample chapters from all of my books are available at -- and check out the rest of my site for chapter-by-chapter annotations, deleted scenes, and more.

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