CYBILS REVIEW: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein


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.


Mr. Lemoncello has the coolest library on the face of the planet! Sigh. Too bad it isn't a real place. Kyle and his friends win a chance to be the first to experience the new library and play some fun games.  Mr. Lemoncello is, after all, a game creating genius. But the overnighter takes an unexpected turn when the door won't open in the morning and a new game is introduced.  The game requires those who participate to find an alternative exit to the library, but they only have 24 hours to do it.  Kyle and his friends must decide how to approach the game using only the resources in the library and each other.  But will they work together and share the prize or alone?

Strengths: I loved the library in this book, it sounds absolutely awesome, with lots of bells and whistles as well as the books themselves.  Kyle is a fun, nice kid who tries to do the right thing even when it is disadvantageous.  The puzzles are fabulous and I enjoyed them a great deal.  The references to literature are great as well.  While a lot of kids might not recognize some of the book references the book is till very enjoyable and they should get at least a few of them. Loved this one!

Weaknesses: Didn't see many, except maybe the references to adult literature, but the book can be enjoyed even without knowing all the books that are referred to.


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