Monday, September 21, 2015

YA for a Day: EVIL LIBRARIAN by Michelle Knudsen

(Occasionally, Middle Grade Mafioso goes YA for a day. This is one of those days.)

EVIL LIBRARIAN by Michelle Knudsen (Candlewick Press, September 2014)

What It's About (from Goodreads blurb): #EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety).

Opening Paragraph: "Italian class. The shining highlight of my Tuesdays, Wednesdays , and Fridays. Not because I'm any good at Italian (I'm not), or because I like the teacher (I don't). It's because Ryan Halsey sits one row over and two rows up from where I sit, which is absolutely perfect for forty-five minutes of semi-shameless staring."

Why I Liked It: The cover is great! Cyn's voice is pitch perfect, and there is a lot of inner lusting going on (hence the YA rating.) As the father of thespians, I also liked the fact that both Cyn and Ryan are heavily involved in the school musical, Sweeney Todd which, wouldn't you know, is also a demon favorite. And these demons aren't pussy-footing around either, folks. There are several adult deaths during the course of the novel, and a sort of demon gunfight at the OK corral which was pretty exciting action stuff. I wasn't surprised to hear that Evil Librarian won the 2015 Sid Fleischman Award for Humor from the SCBWI. In summary: it's a funny, fast-paced frolic, complete with sharp-looking teeth and hooked talons.

About the Author (from her website bio): Michelle Knudsen is a New York Times best-selling author of more than 40 books for young readers, including the picture book Library Lion (illustrated by Kevin Hawkes), the middle-grade fantasy novels The Dragon of Trelian and The Princess of Trelian, and the young adult novel Evil Librarian, which was awarded the 2015 Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. Her most recent book is the picture book Marilyn's Monster (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by the wonderful Matt Phelan. Michelle also works as a freelance editor and writing teacher, and is a member of the Writing for Young People MFA faculty at Lesley University. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. 


  1. Well, I had to read this one! I was a little disappointed that I couldn't really have it in middle school due to mature themes, but it was certainly fun!

  2. Sounds like a fun read and not too many books have an evil librarian.

  3. I'm a fan of Michelle's PBs but haven't read any of her novels. This sounds hilarious and scary at the same time. I've seen Sweeney Todd and I find it a little hard to believe any high school would perform it. But one never knows...

  4. This sounds like a LOT of fun. Evil librarians are a rare breed. I will have to check this one out. Thanks for telling me about it.

  5. Okay, looks like I'm going to have to check this one out!


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