Children's Literature · MG & Kids Lit

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein 



​​Personal Thoughts


A New York Times Bestseller

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.

When twelve-year-old Kyle Keeley hears about his school’s seventh-grade extra credit essay entitled “Why I’m Excited About the New Public Library,” (in celebration of the new library and the fact that there hasn’t been one in twelve years) he couldn’t care less. But when he discovers that his idol, world-famous game maker Luigi Lemoncello, has designed the library, and that the twelve best essay writers will win the right to go to a lock-in at the library, he becomes very interested. He doesn’t have time to write the essay before the deadline. When he emails the essay later that night, he knows that it didn’t work. But, miraculously, his name is announced as one of the winners at the school assembly the next day.

fter his close win, Kyle and eleven others attend the lock-in. The night is filled with fun and games. But when the door is still locked the next morning, a new game begins: using clues and resources in the library, each of them must try to find the way out, with the winner earning a prize of nearly unimaginable value.

​Can Kyle, his best friend and fellow game-lover, Akimi; shy Sierra Russell, who is usually reading as long as she’s breathing; genius and library expert, Mitchell; and the rest of Kyle’s team use their wits to solve the puzzle first and obtain the fame and fortune that is the reward without breaking the rules and being eliminated?

I couldn’t put this book down the first time I read it! 
The mystery and humor will draw in even the most averse readers, and the book perfectly portrays the message that reading is better than any video game.

My favorite character was Sierra because she is always reading, and already appreciates books. She also reminds me of myself.

This book does have a sequel. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to. However, I can assume that it’s as good as its predecessor. I also highly recommend another book by the author, entitled The Island of Dr. Libris.

Chris Grabenstein has artfully concocted an amazing story. I would recommend it for 3rd-6th grade. This book has often been likened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as they both involve a whimsical man in a whimsical place and children. Indeed, this tale may someday become as enduring and classic as Dahl’s infamous children’s novel.

Parental Advisory: some bullying

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