Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
by Chris Grabenstein
Age: Middle Grade
Awards: New York Times Best Seller
Series: #1 in the Lemoncello’s Library series
“Because, my dear friends, these twelve children have lived their entire lives without a public library. As a result, they have no idea how extraordinarily useful, helpful, and funful – a word I recently invented – a library can be. This is their chance to discover that a library is more than a collection of dusty old books. It is a place to learn, explore, and grow!”
Feels like: City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, but you know…minus the darkness and imminent doom.
Review by Stegosaurus Wilde
First off, this middle grade book is a rollicking good time! Mystery and fun abound around every corner! Twelve-year-old Kyle Keeley and his friends (and a couple enemies) win an essay contest to attend an exclusive lock-in for the opening of the fan-freaking-tastic new public library. But wait, there’s more! After the lock-in, they’re in for another surprise. They’ve also been entered in the best game ever: follow the clues to figure out how to escape the library.
Full of intrigue, humor, and friendship, this book is wonderfully entertaining, but it’s also full of warm fuzzy moments without ever being sappy. In addition, the main character, Kyle, isn’t much of a reader. He loves games of all sorts, though, and he uses his natural wits and honest leadership to help his team. The reader, too, engages his/her mind in the character’s quest. Along the way, he looks at his teammates’ knowledge of books and thinks that he might want to read some of them too. I love the way this is presented because it doesn’t come across as preachy at all. It’s just a kid seeing the cool things his friends know because they read and thinking, “I should do more of that.”
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was so fun that I sat down and read it in one go. I did not pass go. I did not collect $200. I didn’t even get up to pee, which on second thought might have been a mistake. But still, it pulled me right in and kept me there the whole time. Read it, give it to your kids to read, give it a gift at birthday parties. Seriously, just buy this book so this author can keep on writing. The world needs more of his brand of imagination.