Sunday, February 18, 2018

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley and his family are obsessed with the board games of Luigi Lemoncello, a celebrity game designer and flamboyant billionaire.  When Kyle’s hometown announces the construction of a new library after 12 long years, the buzz turns into a frenzy when it’s revealed that Mr. Lemoncello has funded and designed the new building!  Kyle is among a handful of kids who’ve been hand-selected to receive the first library cards, and also to participate in an overnight lock-in adventure.  They’re allowed to use only their wits and the library’s resources to solve a number of clues, and the first person who makes it out of the building will receive the grand prize!

One of the great things about this particular book is the number of mysteries and puzzles included with the story.  Heavy readers will be tickled to see some of their favorite books included as clues, although I’d be impressed with any kid who’s actually read all the referenced texts!  What really makes this book, though, are the picture rebuses included as clues.  Reading this book is like being part of a madcap treasure hunt, and that means that you’re instantly sucked into the plot.  “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” and its sequel are a matching pair of fast-paced, exciting and most importantly, fun books which deserve a spot on every kid’s bookshelf. 

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