Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

By: Chris Grabenstein

Ages: 8+ (approximately grades 3 and up)

The twelve-year-olds in Alexandriaville, Ohio have lived without a public library their entire lives. This all changes when a mysterious and generous benefactor constructs a brand new, state-of-the-art library in town. To celebrate the library’s grand opening, a contest is held that will allow 12 lucky winners to spend one night in the library. It’s revealed that successful and eccentric game maker Luigi Lemoncello is the genius behind the library and the kids can’t wait to see what’s in store. After a fun night of exploring the library, Kyle Keeley and the 11 other contest winners are stunned to find out that their adventure has just begun. Just like one of Mr. Lemoncello’s famous games, each kid must race to find their way out of the library by finding clues and solving zany puzzles. It will take wit, patience and maybe even teamwork to escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library and claim the life-changing prize.

With equal parts mystery, adventure and humor this fast-paced book is a very fun read. It’s a contemporary version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that highlights characters who are multicultural, relatable and realistic (even smarmy villain Charles Chiltington). Readers will enjoy discovering clues and solving the puzzles along with the characters. There are also plenty of references to literary works that avid readers will get a kick out of spotting. Fans of mysteries, puzzles, libraries and the books The Puzzling World of Winston Breen and The Mysterious Benedict Society should definitely check this one out! Recommended for grades 3 and up.

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