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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by…
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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

by Chris Grabenstein

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library was such a fun read! I've always liked mysteries and puzzles, and this is full of both, plus there are tons of allusions to other books and authors, from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to Sherlock Holmes.

The main character, Kyle, is the youngest of three brothers, and he loves playing games, especially Mr. Lemoncello's games. When he finds out that Mr. Lemoncello has designed the new library in town, and twelve twelve-year-olds will get to enter it early, he desperately wants to be one of them, and, against the odds, he is. The lock-in turns out to be a contest, a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Kyle quickly teams up with his friend Akimi.

Kyle demonstrates a really interesting set of qualities: he loves games and is competitive, but he's also fair to the other players, and he's generous with his family, friends, and teammates. Charles Chiltington provides a foil for Kyle: he's got all the competitiveness but none of the sense of fair play, and he's arrogant besides. Naturally, Kyle's team prevails, but the tight time frame and the puzzles make for a page-turner.

Comp titles: The Westing Game, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (adult)

Quotes

"You're a genius!" said Akimi.
"No. My brother Curtis is the genius. I just like to play games." (120)

"It's possible that Mr. Lemoncello left a couple different paths to the same solution." (169)

We're following separate paths to the same goal, Haley thought. And somewhere, those two paths are going to collide. (175)

"What good is a prize if everyone wins it?" (Charles, 231) ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 23, 2014 |
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein is a fun middle grade book, with puzzles that made me think of The Westing Game. Teen Kyle Keeley is a game player, and not really a reader. But a fantastic new public library in his town created by game designer Mr. Lemoncello sounds so great he successfully enters a competition to stay in it overnight with several other kids before it opens. The challenge, with a prize, is to find a hidden way back out by following literary clues. References to old favorite books like The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler are sprinkled throughout, some overtly and some concealed in various ways, and they are listed at the end. Kyle ends up wanting to read many of them. ( )
  jnwelch | Oct 9, 2014 |
I loved this book! I want to share it with the world!... Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is like a combination of Willy Wanka, a puzzle book, and a library. It kind of make me think of the movie from the 90's called The Pagemaster, but instead of solving puzzles to get back to real life (out of an animated tale), these kids are figuring them out to get out of the library for a prize.

The book starts off telling the tale of Kyle, who is always competing with his brothers and when the chance arises to enter a school contest he originally thinks nothing of it. He then realizes that it is being held by his favorite game maker, the famous Mr. Lemoncello. Through the book there isn't much character building but Kyle realizes that the best way to play the game is with others versus being overly competitive - which is nice.

The puzzles were my favorite part, the book is full of them. There are even ones outside of the story. I found myself wanting a piece of paper nearby to complete the puzzles for myself versus reading the answers as the kids in the story figured them out. It think Middle Grade readers who enjoy word and picture puzzles will have a blast with this as well. I could even see this as a great book for the family to read and experience together.

I think older readers will enjoy this book as well as it sprinkles various nods to classic books and events throughout. I found myself laughing out loud, participating in the puzzles and trying to figure it all out for myself before the kids did. It was a lot of fun. ( )
  sszkutak | Oct 1, 2014 |
I enjoyed some things in this book, and I was annoyed by some things in this book. I loved all the literary references, but they felt kind of forced and show-y, and the target audience won't understand most of them. Although since this book is technically a love letter to librarians, maybe that is really the target audience and not middle schoolers. (Audience is not the word I'm looking for, but I can't think what it is. Target readers?) And I found it a little disturbing that a book about libraries didn't really have much to do with the love of reading. The love of gaming was more apparent. There was one character who loved to read, but it was made to sound like she read because she had no friends and once she made friends she stopped having her nose in a book all the time. Those are my feelings, but I'm hoping middle schoolers who love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will love this. It has the same kind of stereotypical mean, rich kid; the same kind of know-it-all kid; the same good, honest, loyal-to-friends kid... And maybe it will cause some readers to look into the books that are mentioned (and mentioned, and mentioned). ( )
  Bduke | Sep 24, 2014 |
This book was super cute. I liked the characters and there were some very unexpected twists. I listened to this as an audio book and I wish that I had the physical copy of the book because the author included maps and pictures that were mentioned in the story, but since I couldn't see them it made the book a bit harder to get into, which is entirely my fault. I recommend this book, but make sure that you actually read the book don't just listen to it! ( )
  hawaiianmermaid701 | Sep 6, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037587089X, Hardcover)

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:46:28 -0400)

"Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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