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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello Series #1)

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello Series #1)

4.8 100
by Chris Grabenstein

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lisa Colozza Cocca
Puzzle oriented readers will race to their libraries after reading this book. If they are lucky, those libraries will offer as much mind tickling adventure as the library the wealthy and eccentric Mr. Lemoncello built. This famous gamemaker has devoted five years and many millions of dollars to building his hometown a new library. Twelve lucky students are chosen to receive the first library cards. The recipients will spend opening night at a lock-in at the library. The winning students are reminiscent of the golden ticket holders in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Among them are Kyle and his best friends Akimi and Miguel. The lock-in is a living version of one of Mr. Lemoncello's puzzling games. As the students unravel the clues, the game brings out the best and worst in the children. Don't expect this book to spend much time on the shelf. After bringing the mystery to a satisfying conclusion, the author leaves a note to readers. There is another puzzle from the story that has not been solved in the summation. The author challenges readers to find which puzzle it is and to solve it. This is sure to send many readers back for a second reading. Reviewer: Lisa Colozza Cocca
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Bibliophiles unite! Melvil Dewey is alive and well and residing within Mr. Lemoncello's new library. Billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello wants to pay homage to his childhood library by constructing a technological marvel in his hometown that went without a library for 12 years. He invites a dozen 12-year-olds to a lock-in at the new building, and when they arrive they find the eccentric game-maker has offered them a further challenge-if they can find their way out using only what's in the library-they will become the new spokesperson for Mr. Lemoncello's company. Kyle Keeley teams up with other students as unlikely alliances form, some children's true (not so nice) personalities emerge, and suspense builds while the kids enlist the aid of Mr. Lemoncello's childhood librarian, an Electronic Learning center, and book clues and references galore. The story feels like a cross between a reality show, an online game, and a tightly woven mystery. Dewey Decimal clues will hook librarians and teachers, while book lovers will delight at myriad references from Mr. Lemoncello, such as, "And now, I must return to my side of the mountain… I have great expectations for you all!" Book and game lovers alike will delve into this delicious tale and put on their thinking caps.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA
Publishers Weekly
Librarians and English teachers will happily recommend this adventurous romp from Grabenstein (the Riley Mack books), which pays playful homage to books and libraries while engaging readers in a fast-paced competition involving research and reasoning skills. Twelve seventh-graders win a chance to spend an overnight lock-in previewing their town’s new public library—it’s a marvel of technological delights conceived by Luigi Lemoncello, the Willy Wonkalike founder of Mr. Lemoncello’s Imagination Factory, which is a source for every kind of game imaginable. During the lock-in the winners, who include game-lover Kyle Keeley and a group of multicultural classmates with a mix of aptitudes and interests, are offered a further challenge: “Find your way out of the library using only what’s in the library.” The winner will become spokesperson for the Imag-ination Factory. Book lovers will relish the lavish sprinkling of book titles and references while puzzle fans will enjoy figuring out the clues. A lighthearted parody of reality survival shows, the book reinvigorates the debate over the Dewey Decimal system and traditional library skills while celebrating teamwork, perseverance, and clever wits. Ages 9–12. Agent: Eric Myers, the Spieler Agency. (June)
From the Publisher
A New York Times Bestseller

Starred Review, Booklist, June 1, 2013:
“An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2013:

"Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children’s book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike."

"Pick up Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library for your kids to discover the coolest library in the world." —James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library...is fantastic. It is one of the best books I've read, ever, and that is saying something because I am a librarian. The game, gaining understanding of the Dewey Decimal System, all the name dropping, or should I say, title dropping of so many other great books that will encourage the kids to read more, and more and more . . . it all works. I will recommend it to children and adults alike. It is that good." —Julie Forbus, Madison Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
When a lock-in becomes a reality game, 12-year-old Kyle Keeley and his friends use library resources to find their way out of Alexandriaville's new public library. The author of numerous mysteries for children and adults turns his hand to a puzzle adventure with great success. Starting with the premise that billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello has donated a fortune to building a library in a town that went without for 12 years, Grabenstein cleverly uses the tools of board and video games--hints and tricks and escape hatches--to enhance this intricate and suspenseful story. Twelve 12-year-old winners of an essay contest get to be the first to see the new facility and, as a bonus, to play his new escape game. Lemoncello's gratitude to the library of his childhood extends to providing a helpful holographic image of his 1968 librarian, but his modern version also includes changing video screens, touch-screen computers in the reading desks and an Electronic Learning Center as well as floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stretching up three stories. Although the characters, from gamer Kyle to schemer Charles Chiltington, are lightly developed, the benefits of pooling strengths to work together are clear. Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children's book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike. (Mystery. 9-13)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Mr. Lemoncello Series , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
7 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is the Agatha and Anthony award-winning author of The Crossroads and The Hanging Hill as well as several adult thrillers. He used to write TV and radio commercials and has written for The Muppets. Chris was born in Buffalo, New York, and moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he was 10. After college, he moved to New York City to become an actor and writer. Currently, Chris and his wife, JJ, live in New York City with three cats and a dog named Fred who starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway.

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is five stars all the way! My langauge arts teachers read this aloud to us at school and I absolutely loved it! Very quirky, funny and well written, with expertly dropped hints and clues for readers to puzzle out on their own. When seventh grader Kyle Keeley hears about the new library opening up in his hometown of Alexandria, Ohio, he is not very impressed. In fact, he decides not to enter the library lock-in essay contest at all- until his best friend Akimi mentions that Luigi Lemoncello, Kyle's favorite game creator, is behind the new library. Then, Kyle hurries to scramble up an essay to win the contest. The contest: the twelve students who write the best essays get to spend the night in Mr. Lemoncello's library. And when Kyle and Akimi are two of the twelve students selected, they're in for an adventure worthy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and A Night In the Muesum. Because when they wake up, the doors out of the library are locked. What follows is a super fun contest of wits, as Kyle, Akimi, and ten other seventh graders scramble to find the clues and piece them together to try and find the way out of the library. I think the best part of reading this book was afterward we had a skype session with the author! We had a contest in my class similar to the contest in the book: We had to write an essay saying why we should be able to talk to the author. Twelve students were selected to be pulled out of class to Skype with Chris Grabenstein himself! I was pleasantly surprised to be selected as one of the students to talk to Mr. Grabenstein as I am a huge fan of this book! I would recommend this to anyone, especially fans of reading mystery books! Even if you don't think you will like it, just pick it up and try!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you liked the story 'The Candymakers', and if you just happen to have a love for books, then this amazing story is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book with lots of suspense!
bookswomanSD More than 1 year ago
Chris Grabenstein has done it again. This book is aimed at younger readers (YA in library jargon) yet the books works at all levels for an adult reader. Mr. Lemoncello has built and designed a library for the children of his hometown. Working with books and technology it is a very unique place. There are holograms and a "wonder dome", flat screen tvs and computers. When there is a challenge for the 7th grade class to be the first to visit the library a small group wins time in the library. The twist is that they can get in, but it is much harder to get out. The one who does win also gets some amazing prizes. Kyle Keeley enters and wins along with several other 7th graders. There are puzzles and scavenger hunts and a very strict set of rules. I loved this book and plan on reading it again soon. The first time through i was hurrying to follow the clues so need to spend some time savoring the writing that defines Chris Grabenstein. Much as I love his Ceepak books I must admit, I also look forward to his books for younger readers almost as much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, I am the &#8499istyflash. So, I hate to break your moods, below, but Haunted Spirit is great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the begining. Its soo funny that kyle broke a window for a board game!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous 2 days ago
Anonymous 11 days ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
It is a good book.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I loved the book
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book that I have read in my life! Whoever is reading this review should get and read Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Action packed, funny and an all around good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yfyfjgfhjhgdgcjggfjgkk sweet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Escaping from a library is not so easy any more. It all begins with an extra credit essay competition. Kyle Keeley and 11 other 12 year olds win the extra credit essay competition. They will spend one night in the new library before anyone else gets to go in. . Turns out they have the choice to stay one more night and try to escape with out the front door and the fire escapes, the only window is the ceiling of the 3 story library. Who will win Kyle and his team or Charles Chiligton's (Who always says “Chiligtons never lose.”) Team. The library is a new one and has many adventures ready for these 12 winners. Before I read this book I thought it would be boring but after I loved it and read it again. Escape from Mr.Lemoncello's library of the best fiction books I have ever read. I would always recommend this book to any age. I loved it, for the reasons you get sucked into another world. Also it is a great way to begin learning your dewey decimal system with getting a amazing book to read as well. That is why I gave this book 5 stars in rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so entertaining I could NOT put it down what so ever!! I hope to read Mr. Lomoncello's library olimpics!! I also hope that you liked both too!! I wonder where Mr. Lemoncello gets his game ideas? And how Kyle got into the library on the last day so quickly?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its like night at the museum but better. Have to read it again. Ilove it sooo much. I could red that book a million times without getting bored. AWESOME TO DIE FOR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. And, I believe this is a wonderful book for the kids and maybe even the adults, that beleive a library is not important or nessasary. Because, in this book there is an exciting game that will involve all the knowledge that you have.