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The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp


The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Fifteen-year-old, down-on-his-luck Alfred Kropp seems to have drawn the short straw in life. Cursed from birth by his unusually large proportions, including his big head, big hands and big feet, the kids at school call him Frankenstein and everyone thinks he's mentally handicapped, even though he's most definitely not. (His worried mom once even had his IQ tested and confirmed that he was "just a big boy meant for big things.") His shy, awkward personality doesn't help matters, nor does his tendency to hole up in his room listening to music instead of playing sports and pursuing girls like the other boys his age.

Alfred's unfortunate luck in the family department hasn't made things any easier either: he never knew his dad, who left before he was even born, and his mom died of cancer when he was just 12. Shuttled between foster homes until being taken in by his well-meaning but clueless Uncle Farrell, poor Alfred has lost just about everything in the world of value to him, except his hilarious sense of humor.

Besides being funny, the only thing Alfred seems to excel at is failure --- failing at math, failing at taking his drivers test (twice, to be exact), and failing at being even a second-string player on the school football team (he can't seem to memorize the playbook). But little does he know that his underachieving status is about to undergo a supersized overhaul when his uncle latches onto a dodgy get-rich-quick scheme to retrieve a stolen sword from the office building where he works as a security guard.

Against his better judgment, Alfred is roped into being an accessory to the crime, which goes horribly awry and sets a deadly chain of events in motion. Too late, he comes to the shocking realization that the sword he stole is no ordinary sword at all, but the most powerful weapon ever wielded by man --- Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur. And Alfred has just placed it into the hands of an enemy with intentions of the evilest kind.

Determined to atone for his mistake, Alfred embarks on a daring mission to restore the sword to its rightful owners, in the process stumbling into a world of modern-day knights bound by a sacred oath to protect Excalibur with their very lives. As he becomes the de facto apprentice to the powerful knight Bennacio and begins to unravel the mysteries of the sword's illustrious history, he discovers an ancient secret that reveals he might not be so "ordinary" after all. In fact, to Alfred's immense chagrin, he learns that the entire future of the world may just rest in his oversized, underachieving hands.

With its dazzling displays of death-defying swordplay, white-knuckle high-speed car chases, and breathtaking helicopter air battles, THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ALFRED KROPP plunges us headlong into a daredevil world of international intrigue where nothing is as it seems. In a high stakes air and land race that crosses continents and spans centuries, modern superheroes must risk everything they have to uphold an ancient Arthurian oath that could save the fate of the world.

With bumbling, lumbering, wisecracking Alfred Kropp by our side, there's never a dull moment on this bumpy ride that proves just how extraordinary "ordinary" can be.

Reviewed by Joni Rendon on October 7, 2005

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
by Rick Yancey

  • Publication Date: December 1, 2015
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1619639165
  • ISBN-13: 9781619639164