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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Paperback – June 24, 2014
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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.
*Starred Review* Here’s an instantly engaging and wildly creative mystery that is sure to have readers looking at their humble local library in a new light. Mr. Lemoncello is an eccentric game designer who has just funded a very special new library in his hometown. In honor of the grand opening, Lemoncello has selected a dozen 12-year-olds to participate in an overnight lock-in event at the library. But when the kids wake up, they discover a new and unexpected game is afoot: whoever can find a way out of Mr. Lemoncello’s library will win the grand prize. Avid readers will get a kick out of the references to classic and current children’s literature as the kids solve clues to escape and win the game. Main character Kyle Keeley works hard to beat his nemesis, the conniving bully Charles Chilington, who constantly reminds everyone that he is always successful. As Lemoncello says, knowledge not shared remains unknown, and the group learns that working together just might be the key to solving the mystery. An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman riddle master himself, Willy Wonka. Grades 4-7. --Sarah Bean Thompson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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I have to say, that's a pretty good description. I'd add in The DaVinci Code, too.
Alexandriaville is getting a brand-new, state-of-the-art public library after having no library for 12 years. To celebrate the opening, 12 12-year-olds are chosen from an essay contest to spend a night in the library and be the first to experience its amazing collection and exhibits. Kyle Keeley, an avid gamer, manages to earn a spot. Once they are inside, the children learn that they can simply spend a night in the library, or they can play a real-life game to win a fabulous prize. Once the game begins, players do their best to decode clues and find the escape from the library before time runs out or another player beats them to it.
This book is incredibly fun and packed with hints for readers to solve along with the characters in the book. The library in the story is a dream, full of technological innovations that enhance rather than replace traditional library systems--you'll still find books and the Dewey Decimal System in here. I love how Grabenstein showed readers that libraries are as relevant as ever, especially when they evolve with technology to help users find what they need.
There's also a hidden puzzle in the book for readers to solve. Those who do (and who email the author by December 31, 2013) can win a library of books for themselves and for the library collection of their choice! Like the characters in the book, I got my entry in at the 11th hour. :)