|Print List Price:||$7.99|
Random House LLC
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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Kindle Edition
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|Length: 306 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 8 - 12|
|Grade Level: 3 - 7|
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Top customer reviews
Yes, the comparison to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is obvious, and the book has the same sense of goofy fun, but because the setting is a library rather than a candy factory there is much more opportunity for referencing the deep well of children's literature, which can only enrich the story. And with funding for libraries decreasing it's nice to see a book that shows such an obvious love for the institution and its practitioners; the book is even dedicated to librarians and several are mentioned in the Acknowledgments.
I love the plot and the setting and the intent of the book, but there are problems with the book too. I'd say the worst flaw is that the characters are rather cliched and not very deep. Maybe that's what the author wanted and maybe it's more enjoyable for middle schoolers, the intended audience, but I thought this was a missed opportunity to improve on Dahl's popular novel. For instance, there's a girl who reads ALL THE TIME, even skipping meals and conversation. She's the only kid who has no parent to see her off or greet her at the end of the adventure. Why? Where's her mom and dad? Is she antisocial or just incredibly into reading. It might have been better to have fewer kids but get to know them better, but then again perhaps this is unfair criticism -- and I admit it -- I have had the great misfortune of reading this as an adult. I bet if was twelve I'd absolutely adore it. It has books and a fantastical library and a scavenger hunt, even danger and mischief. I would recommend this to middle school readers. I would give it as a gift, and I will read the sequel. I just wish it had been a bit .. more.
The puzzles were okay but repetitive, and the many references to children's books were too often superficial, on the level of puns. I have nothing against puns, and I'm sure lots of middle school readers want silly goofy puns, but again I think it's a missed opportunity to step it up a bit, and make it more entertaining to kids who've probably seen Dora the Explorer and Star Wars. Also problematic is that a lot of the cultural references were amazingly dated, and improbable points of reference for today's kids.
I liked this book and loved the message. We even get a few lessons in the Dewey Decimal system, and what's not to love about that. Kyle gradually gets to like reading .. yay!
There is also a bonus puzzle and a discussion with the author, and I appreciate the effort, though mention was made of a list of all the books referenced and I would have liked to have seen this but didn't. I'll look again.
Don't hold the fact against him that Mr. Grabenstein used to write in James Patterson's book factory. We found this book to be an absolutely delightful, engaging read. Grabenstein is clearly big on libraries as centers of discovery, learning and community. Twelve twelve-year-olds, who have never been in a library due to their town's library being torn down twelve years ago, compete to go to the grand opening of Mr. Lemoncello's library. Once there, they find themselves locked in and are told that their goal is to use the library and all its resources to discover a hidden exit for a grand prize. Mr. Lemoncello is a great game-maker and some of the clues come from his games, while others come from the ten Dewey Decimal Rooms, a holographic librarian and holographic creatures, and pictograms hidden in books.
Grabenstein cleverly reinforces the idea that reading is, itself, a rewarding activity, and those who take time to focus on the process are rewarded more than those who try to take short cuts. He also emphasizes such values as loyalty, team-work, and respect. Titles of many famous children's books are sprinkled throughout Mr. Lemoncello's conversations and the clues. There is also a puzzle not in the story that can be solved and sent into Mr. Grabenstein for a chance to win two libraries of books. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a fast read. Mr. Grabenstein also does a very good job of creating distinct characters. None of the kids feels like a carbon copy of the other; they're all fleshed out in ways that help you get a sense of what motivates them.
Most recent customer reviews
Series Number: Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1
Author: Chris Grabenstein
Themes: There are different paths to the same...Read more
What a fun read! The book is about 12 kids that get to spend the night in a super cool new library designed by a famous game-maker.Read more
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