"The newly orphaned, underachieving, utterly endearing narrator of this topsy-turvy novel winds up in an unwitting Arthurian quest," said PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
It all starts when Alfred Kropp allows himself to be coerced into helping his uncle steal a sword from his employer. Sure, his uncle threatens to give up custody of the teen and send him to a foster home, but that is what will happen, anyway, when the deal goes awry and the person who hired them kills Alfred's uncle right in front of him. Of course, the sword is not just any sword. It is Excalibur, and it has been protected by a special group of knights for centuries. In the wrong hands, it could be used for world domination. Right now, because of Alfred, it is in the wrong hands. The clumsy teen knows he needs to help retrieve the sword and set things right. How exactly he is going to do that is an exciting story, one that involves race cars, helicopters, a pretty girl, and lots of action. Rick Yancey's first young adult novel owes much to the action movie genre. Librarians and parents should be aware that violence is both graphic and plentiful in this book. 2005, Bloomsbury, Ages 13 to 17.
Heidi Hauser Green
Gr 6-8-Astonishingly tall 15-year-old Alfred is plunged into a world of adventure, assassination, and Arthurian legend when he agrees to help his uncle filch an ancient sword from the office of a CEO who just happens to be a descendent of the Knights of the Round Table. Of course the sword turns out to be none other than Excalibur, and the guy Alfred swiped it for is Mogart, a knight-gone-bad who hopes to use its magical powers to take over the world. Enter Bennacio, another descendant of the Round Table, who then takes Alfred under his wing on a quest across the Atlantic to rescue the sword from Mogart. The descriptions of minor bits of blood and gore leave much to the imagination and will make Kropp especially appealing to fans of Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" books (Philomel), Geoffrey Huntington's Sorcerers of the Nightwing (ReganBooks, 2002), and even Darren Shan's "The Saga of Darren Shan" series (Little, Brown). True to its action-adventure genre, the story is lighthearted, entertaining, occasionally half-witted, but by and large fun.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Alfred Kropp is an overweight, underachieving teen whose main goals in life consist of getting his learner's permit and dating Amy Pouchard. Things take a very unexpected turn, however, when his uncle talks him into participating in a get-rich-quick scheme. The scheme involves stealing a valuable sword (which just happens to be Excalibur), and before Alfred knows it, he has vowed to protect the powerful sword from the motorcycle-riding, sword-wielding Agents of Darkness. Although he wonders why a group of modern-day knights would entrust him with such an important mission, Alfred enjoys a new-found sense of purpose, which is further fueled by his discovery that he is the last descendent of Lancelot. Yancey has hit one out of the park with this original, engaging and sequel-worthy read. He does a fine job of balancing King Arthur's legend with contemporary action sequences well suited for the silver screen. The expertly paced plot will keep action-adventure fans entertained, and those interested in all things Camelot will get a kick out of watching this funny, self-deprecating teenager save the world. (Fiction. YA)
“A great book for boys, as well as reluctant readers . . . teens will love and won't be able to put down.” School Library Journal on ALFRED KROPP AND THE SEAL OF SOLOMON
“Like J. K Rowling, first time YA novelist Yancey deftly leavens the heavier plot elements with humor; this story of a big-headed loser is as funny as it is scary.” Publishers Weekly
“Yancey has hit one out of the park with this original, engaging, sequel-worthy read.” Kirkus Reviews