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

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Editorial Reviews 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.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (June 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307931471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307931474
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

More About the Author

Chris Grabenstein is the author of many fast-paced and fun page-turners including the New York Times bestsellers The Island of Dr. Libris and Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Currently nominated for 34 different state book awards, Mr. Lemoncello has spent 38 weeks in the top ten of the New York Times Middle Grades bestseller list. Nickelodeon has optioned the book to become a movie. Chis is also the co-author with James Patterson of the #1 Bestselling I Funny, Treasure Hunters, and House of Robots series. He is the critically acclaimed author of over thirty books, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Previously, Chris wrote for Jim Henson's Muppets and co-wrote the CBS-TV movie The Christmas Gift starring John Denver. His dog, Fred, has better credits. Fred starred on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 86 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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84 of 92 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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29 of 32 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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38 of 44 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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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 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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37 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amazonbooks4me on July 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was supposed to be the fun Summer book I'd been waiting for since I first heard about its forthcoming release. I imagined a edge-of-your-seat book filled with clues to follow and puzzles to solve. While trying to escape from a zany library is a clever plot, I felt that the actual story itself was a boring wild goose chase for confusing, uninteresting clues leading to the solution of how to escape. By the time I was halfway through I didn't care how to get out, I just wanted out. As I sit and write this review, I realize that there are too many negatives to write about. I have to say that I loved the cover art more than the actual book - A case where you can't judge a book by its cover.

I thought there was a lack of actual puzzles for a book that promises many. All of the characters in this book are severely underdeveloped (one just reads all the time, one's the bully, the main character "Kyle" is the nice guy, and then there is his friend that just says "yo" and "bro" all the time). Dialog between characters is weak, making it feel like the whole story is haphazardly put together and rushed. There is no step-by-step systematic way that characters collect their clues. They are just running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The library itself is unrealistic from its hologram librarian and white tiger to its hovercraft-style elevator. The famous game designer and library builder, Mr. Lemoncello, is just a clown of a man in banana shoes that squeak when he walks. If I were a nine year old again, I would think that was pretty dorky. Apart from the way he dressed and his annoying way of sporadically speaking in book titles, he had nothing else going for him.
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