Saturday, September 12, 2015

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Cover image for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's libraryKyle has never really been very interested in books and libraries. He mostly like games, especially games created by the company owned by Mr. Lemoncello. When Mr. Lemoncello opens a library in Kyle's hometown, and announces that twelve 6th graders will get the opportunity to have a sleepover in the library before it opens, Kyle is suddenly interested in libraries. After a night of being entertained and amazed by the library's beauty and high tech automation and computer resources, the 12 kids are informed that they have the option to stay another day and play a game called, "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library." If they succeed they will win incredible prizes, fame and glory. Some of the kids opt out and are allowed to go home, but some of them stay and work through clues to try to solve the puzzle.

I kept on expecting the story to get scary and nightmarish like Willy Wonka, but it didn't. It is just about a bunch of kids, having fun trying to solve riddles and puzzles. It is also about group dynamics, as the kids naturally form into two teams, one lead by Kyle and one lead by an ambitious rich kid. The clues in the puzzles all refer either to classic games or to classic literature, and are fairly clever.  It was a fun read and I kept thinking about how I could do a great library program based on the book. They are actually doing the book for our Mother/Son book group this month, but I am not in charge of that group anymore. Our library has a book club set if any of you want a fun kid's book club title.  (291 p)

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