Monday, February 24, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY by Chris Grabenstein (Random House, June 2013)

What It's About (from the author's web page): Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library plunks a dozen sixth-graders into the middle of a futuristic library for a night of nonstop fun and adventure.
Kyle Keeley is a game fan—board games, word games, and especially video games! Kyle's hero, the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello, is the genius behind the design of the town's new public library, which contains not only books, but an IMAX theater, an electronic learning center, instructional holograms, interactive dioramas and electromagnetic hover ladders that float patrons up to the books they want.
Lucky Kyle wins a spot as one of the first twelve kids invited to a gala, overnight library lock-in filled with of fun and games. But the next morning, when the lock-in is supposed to be over, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the others must follow book-related clues and unravel all sorts of secret puzzles to find the hidden escape route if they want to win Mr. Lemoncello's most fabulous prize ever.
Opening Lines: "This is how Kyle Keeley got grounded for a week.
First he took a shortcut through his mother’s favorite rosebush. Yes, the thorns hurt, but having crashed through the brambles and trampled a few petunias, he had a five-second jump on his oldest brother, Mike.
 Both Kyle and his big brother knew exactly where to find what they needed to win the game: inside the house!
Why I Liked It: As you can see from these first lines, with boys racing and crashing about, this is one exuberant romp. Middle grade readers will love the puzzles and the humor. Chris Grabenstein has a well-tuned ear for how kids this age speak and his dialogue crackles.
You have got to love a book set in a library where the head librarian is described as "world famous." This one was a finalist for the recent Cybils award, and with good reason. (I also really like the cover--I know, I'm shallow. But I do judge a book by its cover.)
About the Author: Chris Grabenstein has quite the pedigree, with a number of novels (including several written with James Patterson) to his name. His Web page is one of the best author ones I've seen out there: very easy on the eye, and Mr. Grabenstein seems to know how to connect with his readers. Plus, he likes dogs. The Don approves!
Chris Grabenstein with his dog, Fred


  1. This sounds like a great book and one that will appeal to boys. And I love the author picture with his dog.

  2. I've recently seen this book and thought is sounded like quite the story. Hopping over to Amazon to add to my wishlist. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I have this one on the shelf ready to read. It may be my next book to take with me on an airplane ride. Perfect escapism.

  4. Thanks for sharing the love of this book. And oh yeah baby on a world famous librarian, lol!

  5. I loved the setting of this one too, as well as the, as you said, world-famous librarian. :-)

  6. This has been on my TBR list since I first heard about it. I can still remember Chris's first book for kids, The Crossroads, probably because it was so creepy!

    Just checked out his website, and it's very cool. Thanks.

  7. I sure keep hearing a lot about this book. It's on my never-ending TBR list. I hope I get to it soon.

  8. I really enjoyed this book too! It reminded me of a modern-day Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but set in a library.

  9. This one sounds like one a lot of gamers (and there are a LOT of them) can relate to. Fun.

  10. This was really a fun read...and who can beat the setting? Gotta love libraries, especially ones with cool holograms and puzzles!


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