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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Paperback – June 24, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2013: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, part A Night in the Museum, and a whole lot of fun. When the eccentric inventor of video and board games returns to his hometown to build a library the likes of which has never been seen, he brings with him the most spectacular puzzler of them all. Seventh grader Kyle Keeley wants, more than anything, to be the winner of Mr. Lemoncello’s latest challenge but it will take skill, wit, and ultimately teamwork to come out on top. With a delightful cast of characters and the homey feel of family game night, Chris Grabenstein’s novel mimics elements of two beloved classics but stands on its own merit as a sure fire winner with young readers. --Seira Wilson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–8—The world's most famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, has just designed a brand-new, state-of-the-art library in his hometown, and he's invited 12 lucky seventh graders to stay the night just before its grand opening. Avid gamer Kyle Keeley jumps at the chance to meet his idol and see a real live library. After the previous library's demolition, this is the first library this small town has had in 12 years. Kyle is elated when his essay is chosen, and he gets to be among the first to wander the halls of one of the most interactive libraries ever. Kyle and the other contestants have 24 hours to find a secret exit out of the building and win a spectacular prize, and when the doors shut, the games really begin. Love of literature is a must if you want to escape. Librarians will fall in love with Mr. Lemoncello's library. This title is filled to the brim with witty literary references, an education on the Dewey Decimal System, and zany word puzzles. Narrator Jesse Bernstein expertly brings to life each character from the whimsical Lemoncello to the pretentious bully Charles Chillington. Insatiable readers who pick up on all the references will adore this book, as will general puzzle and mystery enthusiasts. The antics are similar to Patrick Carman's Floors while the puzzles are relatable to Blue Balliet's Chasing Vermeer.—Amanda Schiavulli, Finger Lakes Library System, NY --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (June 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307931471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307931474
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Grabenstein is the co-author with James Patterson of the #1 New York Times Bestseller I FUNNY. He is also an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Winner of two Anthony and three Agatha Awards, Chris used to write for Jim Henson's Muppets, was president of the New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and co-wrote the screenplay for the CBS-TV movie The Christmas Gift starring John Denver. Chris lives in New York City with his wife, three cats, and a rescue dog named Fred, who starred on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You can visit Chris (and Fred) at www.ChrisGrabenstein.com

Customer Reviews

This is a very engaging book.
Cathy Lambert
The plot involves the reader and gives he/she puzzles to solve throughout the story.
R. Rolison
My 10 year old daughter loved this book.
JulieÃÂ W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By LTCL on June 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I know what you are thinking- she works in a library so of course she is going to love this book. You would be correct! It is wonderful and I can't wait to show it to all our patrons! Mr. Lemoncello is an eccentric board game inventor who has donated a public library in his small hometown. This is the ultimate in technology, fun and creativity and a select few will get to spend the night in it before it opens to the public. What quirky Mr. Lemoncello doesn't share with the lucky winners is that they will have to solve a series of puzzles to escape. It is Jeopardy! mixed with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory mixed with The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler and the game of Clue! Full of action and wonderful challenging puzzles (I got giddy when I was able to solve some of the clues). Author Chris Grabenstein knows how to grab the attention of middle schoolers since he is the co-author of the popular series with James Patterson. This is a wonderful trip down memory lane for the parents, one all night Trivial Pursuit game and my personal favorite book this year!
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By JoAnn Bixby on July 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kids who like books, kids who like games, kids who like puzzles, kids who like mysteries, kids who like friends, kids who like fantasy, kids who like fun, and kids who like balloons. If you don't fall into one of these categories, skip the book.
This story of 12 kids who get to spend the night the the new library and are then invited to compete in a game where they must "escape" within 24 hours to win a fabulous prize is one that will surely be a favorite of kids everywhere. It is already one of my favorites. I can't wait to re-read it.
I plan to use this book in the coming school year with my 4th and 5th grade classes. Whether we use it as a "book club" or a "read aloud", I know they will love it.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Rob Davis on September 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Escape from Lemoncello's Library is full of fantastic surprises at every turn. It was definitely the best book I have read for months, and I could not put it down until I finished it. I could see it as if it were a play because of all the colorful detailed descriptions. I was sad after I finished it when my Dad said there was no such library YET... Maybe one day there will be a library with holographic librarians that help you find books and hovercraft-like elevators that allow you to reach books 50 feet in the air. If you enjoy playing board games and solving puzzles, you will love this futuristic book too. By Jackson, 10 year old
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on July 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
She read it all in two days, would have stayed up all night and finished it if I had let her. It is summer and she was just reading for pleasure, no assignment, no pressure. She says it's the best book EVER!! I'm reading it now, it's good so far!
We highly recommend it (I'm sure up to 12 year olds would like it, too, maybe even older.)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a fun, lighthearted read that will be perfect for any young book lover. I'm a big fan of libraries and children's literature, so I was very excited to see what the author would be able to do with this very Willy Wonka - like concept. This is a very fast paced read, filled with puzzles to figure out. The mystery itself is very well plotted and will have readers holding on to the very end to see who will win the prize. Kids will love all the little shout outs to their favorite authors and books, and I loved all the valuable Dewey information that the author so seamlessly integrated into the story.

I think the problems I had with this book rose primarily from my sky high expectations. I wanted more. It had its witty moments, but the humor stayed on more of a whimsical level throughout the story. I really wish the author could have incorporated more character development. All of the characters were rather two dimensional and clichéd. I would have had much more fun if the villain would have been just a wee bit sneakier and the good guy just a bit more real. Mr. Lemoncello himself was under-utilized. I wanted to hear more from him! I also found it odd that one of the games played by the students in the library centered on adult authors instead of children's book authors. It stood out since all the other games and puzzles concerned children's books. These however are the petty concerns of an adult reader.

This is an excellent choice for young readers grades four through seven, especially those who already enjoy books and libraries.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Grey on June 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Three parts The Westing Game, two parts Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and maybe just a dash of Chasing Vermeer, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is in all parts fantastic, and as dear a love letter to libraries as ever was written. Grabenstein's tale of a group of children engaged in a contest to escape a library in order to win fabulous prizes name-checks its way through YA fiction, demonstrating the kind of knowledge only a true believer in books possesses. If Lemoncello isn't quite Wonka-level in his creative insanity, that in no way detracts from the utter charm of a novel that is virtually perfect in every way. Pretend to buy it for your children, then read it yourself. You won't regret it.
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