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The Island of Dr. Libris (2016)

by Chris Grabenstein

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5642443,357 (3.45)19
A twelve-year-old boy, worried that his parents may divorce, discovers that an island in the middle of the lake where he is spending the summer is the testing grounds of the mysterious Dr. Libris, who may have invented a way to make the characters in books come alive.
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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
My 12-year-old and I listened to this on a recent trip to a baseball tournament. When I was going down the list of audiobooks I had to listen to, he said, "Oh, we should listen to that. Chris Grabenstein is a really good author."

I really enjoyed this book. Billy and Walter were great characters, the kinds of friends you'd expect on summer vacation adventure. (NB: My son informed me that, "Just because there are kids your age, parents shouldn't expect you to automatically become friends." Which I knew, but the reminder was useful.)

I also liked how the characters from classic literature were brought to life. I laughed every time at the Sheriff of Nottingham's "Curses and foul language!"

I was a little nervous at the end with the shenanigans with regard to Billy's parents, but I was relieved when he realized that he had to let them figure things out for themselves. Love potions = bad; free will = good.

The narrator was fantastic, and nailed all of the voices, making each unique, appropriate, and recognizable. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
Fun, light fantasy with book characters coming alive and a boy trying to get his parents to reunite after separation. ( )
  Booksplorer | Feb 6, 2021 |
Same author as Lemoncello's Library, so I had high hopes for all the bookish fun in Dr. Libris, but was a bit disappointed. It is a little too babyish -- perfect for 2nd and 3rd graders with a good grasp of literature, but was hoping it would be a better fit for my 5th and 7th grader. Billy is stuck vacationing in Dr. Libris' cabin so his mom can finish her dissertation (good role model!)with few distractions. Billy's Dad has stayed in the city because their marriage is on the rocks. With no screen activity, Billy must turn to Dr. Libris' library for entertainment. This is part of the sinister Libris' master plan. Once Billy delves into the books, he has some brain wave activity that brings the stories to life on the mysterious island in the middle of the lake. This becomes a literary mash-up of the 3 Muskateers, Jack and the Beanstalk, Robin Hood, Pollyanna, Tom Sawyer and others. Billy must keep himself safe, get the characters sorted out, thwart a bully, save his new friend and his sister, and resurrect his parents' marriage. Tall order, but all possible with imagination. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
This was cute story that might get many students of today to get in touch with the classics of yester-year. It was delightful story of a modern boy plagued with the stories of the classics. ( )
  MrNattania72 | Mar 17, 2020 |
When Billy arrives at the cabin his mom rented from the mysterious Dr. Libris for the summer, he’s disappointed. No TV, no video games, no technology of any kind except for the creepy video cameras in every room. Then, he discovers the library, and more importantly, Dr. Libris private bookcase. As Billy begins reading the books, he starts hearing strange noises from the island in the middle of the lake. Upon investigating the island, he discovers that all the characters from the various books he’s read have come to life and are interacting with each other and with him on the island! Hercules, Robin Hood, Tom Sawyer, and even Pollyanna all come together for a wild adventure.

What I liked: So creative! I love the various characters interacting with each other. Some of the scenes are hilarious. This is such an inventive way to intersect multiple popular fiction characters. Billy is also very relatable, unsure of himself and unsure of his parents upcoming divorce.

What I didn’t like: The ending is very rushed, like the author had to hurry up and finish the story. Also, Dr. Libris makes a brief appearance at the end, and is such a terrible person that I wish he had been left out. The ending is okay, just a little disappointing.

Still, a rather enjoyable read.

4 out of 5 stars ( )
  AlbaArango | May 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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For Uncle Julian and Aunt Patsy, who lived such storied lives.  And for you, the reader.  Thank you for volunteering to attempt this feat of magic with me.
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I am thrilled to report that after an exhaustive search, I have found the ideal subject for our first field test, which will commence as soon as Billy G., a twelve-year-old with a very vivid imagination, arrives on-site.
Billy Gillfoyle's dad shifted gears and gunned the engine.
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A twelve-year-old boy, worried that his parents may divorce, discovers that an island in the middle of the lake where he is spending the summer is the testing grounds of the mysterious Dr. Libris, who may have invented a way to make the characters in books come alive.

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