The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings

304p. HarperCollins/Harper. Jun. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062665584.
Gr 5–8—Alex has been chosen to be a librarian, a caretaker of books. The problem? He's not even 16 and no one will take him seriously. Oh, and the books are afraid while someone—or something—is killing the librarians. Alex has to prove he's capable of saving himself and the information before it's too late. Castles, kingdoms, sword fights, magical pages, and mysterious deaths all are present and accounted for. Alex is snarky and not particularly likable. Queen Kenneret struggles to rule her kingdom and is seemingly oblivious to obvious things. The mystery is intriguing and some of the fantasy elements are engaging, but middle grade readers may find the heavy-handed praise of libraries, reading, and librarians to be a bit too on-the-nose.
VERDICT For libraries that have a strong fantasy readership, this title may appeal, despite its flaws.

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