Review: ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY (and) MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY OLYMPICS / by Chris Grabenstein

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, / by Chris Grabenstein
Random House Books for Young Readers     ISBN     9780307931474

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, / by Chris Grabenstein
Random House Books for Young Readers     ISBN     9780553510409
INT     Ages 8-12     Rating:     4

lemoncellos library lemoncellos library olympics

Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein, author of several middle school books, presents two humorous novels combining the elements of an adventure, a literary mystery, and a reality game show.

In Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, middle schooler Kyle Keeley is a fan of all games: board games, word games, and video games. When the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello builds the new town library, Kyle wins one of the 12 coveted spots for an overnight event at the library. The doors are still locked when the morning comes. It’s up to Kyle and the others to solve the puzzles to find the hidden escape route.

Kyle and the others navigate the Dewey Decimal System, working on the challenges that pay homage to literary classics such as The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Newbery titles, and contemporary books like Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss.

In Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, Kyle Keeley is back with his four teammates. Regional four-member teams join Team Kyle in the first-ever Library Olympics, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello. The winning team receives a full four-year scholarship to the college of their choice.

The duodecimalthon (12 games) include a library cart relay, mixed-up children’s book titles, and quotes from banned books. Mysterious events threaten to sabotage the Olympics. Will they discover who is behind it and why are they doing it? Will Kyle’s team remain the library champions or be beaten by another team?

These books are part mystery, adventure, and suspense, with puzzles along the way for the reader to solve. Grabenstein’s humor is geared towards his audience who enjoy the video humor of crashes and flying squirrels that bite their victims on the butt — but the mean kids get their just rewards. The values of friendship and teamwork are encouraged. The reader is challenged to read the books mentioned. Gamers and bibliophiles will enjoy deciphering the clues to the final puzzle.

Recommended for school and public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer

 

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the author or publisher in exchange for a honest review. No other compensation was received.

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