Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

By Chris Grabenstein,

Book cover of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Book description

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets A Night in the Museum in this the action-packed New York Times bestseller from Chris Grabenstein, coauthor of I Funny and other bestselling series with James Patterson!

Kyle Keeley is a huge fan of all games - board games, word games, and particularly video…


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Why read it?

5 authors picked Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love the puzzle-solving aspect of this book. The reader can try and solve the puzzles along with the characters or just read along and see how the kids figure it out. Lots of different personalities are represented, and while the library is somewhat “fantastical” in its high-tech visuals and gadgets, the story is very much grounded in our world. It’s a fun ride!

What I enjoyed most about this clever, clue-filled book was its not-so-subtle nod to so many of my favorite children’s books. The excitement for a game taking place inside a library chockfull of outrageous tricks and clever surprises will be fun for any reader, but what drew me most into the heart of the story is the idea that the best books stay with us for a lifetime. Which is why I’m convinced Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is actually the author’s love note to children’s fiction. A fun, puzzle-filled one at that.

This book is more than just one puzzle: it’s a whole sequence of them, and they’re all solvable by the readers. There are no hiding answers or clues, and no tricking the reader by refusing to tell the whole story. It opens its magnificent doors to the ready minds of the readers. I also appreciate that this is a book without a villain—it shows that not every story needs a villain. Sometimes the best conflict comes from solving the puzzle.

Who doesn't love a mystery you can solve beside the sleuth? Fast-paced, fun, and also funny, these books encourage readers to solve puzzles, decrypt ciphers, and untangle anagrams, but they never get bogged down. According to my twelve-year-old, they’re page-turners through and through. 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was recommended to me by a bookstore employee who knew I had a love for riddles and middle-grade books. This is definitely a book for anyone who loves children’s literature and solving puzzles. The main character Kyle loves playing board games designed by his hero Luigi Lemoncello. When Mr. Lemoncello designs a new library in Kyle’s town, a special contest is held to celebrate the library’s grand opening. Kyle wins a spot in this “lock-in” contest where twelve students are locked into the library at night. The winner must solve a series of riddles (all…

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