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

4.7 out of 5 stars 606 customer reviews

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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
  • Lexile Measure: 0720 (What's this?)
  • Series: Mr. Lemoncello's Library
  • 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: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (606 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After years of struggling to make Battle of the Books fun for my students and years of struggling with the regional coordinators on selecting better books, I decided to branch out and have my students do something different – something bold and new. Well sort of new. We are still called Book Detectives, but our club is centered around the Newbery Award. (The Newbery is the award given for the best writing in a children’s book. Click here for more info.) Sort of a Mock Newbery Club, but just a bit more. The first half of the year we are reading several books that are eligible for the Newbery. In January we will vote on the one we think should win. Now, thousand and thousands of children’s books are published each year. There is no way we could read every possible contender, but I believe we’ve picked some good ones. After the award is announced in January we will switch our focus to books that have already won the award. I’ll post more about that later. The first two books we picked to read were Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein and Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Lisle Shurtlif. I absolutely love both books, but I have to admit that Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library holds a special place in my heart. Come on! IT TAKES PLACE IN A LIBRARY WITH AN AWESOME LIBRARIAN! (Please excuse the shouting, but I LOVE this book and so did my students.) Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inside a library. This is a great book for avid and reluctant readers alike. If you like games and puzzles, this book is for you as well. Grabenstein catches the reader’s attention from the very beginning and doesn’t let go.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Premise

Alexandriaville has been without a public library for twelve years. An eccentric billionaire builds an elaborate library for his hometown. Not only are there plenty of books, but also fancy video games and lots of board games. Technology is state-of-the-art. A dozen twelve-year-old winners of an essay contest receive the right to stay in the library overnight and enjoy books, fun, and games. The next morning, the doors remain locked. Will they be able to figure out the clues and escape, thus winning the grand prize?

Initial Outlook

The town name is an obvious nod to the Library of Alexandria - a nice touch. Somewhat reminiscent of
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the premise promises fun and adventue. I wanted to love this. I was all set to be drawn into a fascinating and compelling journey. Unfortunately, this story, while it does have interesting elements, falls short of its potential.

Unrealistic Actions

The "kid lingo" and actions do not ring true. It feels like an adult lacking proper understanding of how kids actually talk and behave. Undoubtedly meant to seem "with it," the effect is the opposite. Yo, bro. [Insert fist bump, chest bump, and peace sign.] One kid even says he will "Twitter it." "Tweet" is the correct term. I also find it hard to believe that a twelve-year-old would have several thousand Twitter followers or Facebook friends.

Endless Literary References

Bogged down with endless literary references and name-dropping of book titles (which is repeated, more than once), I shudder to think what this would be like if listening to an audio version.
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