Reviews for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
*Starred Review* Here's an instantly engaging and wildly creative mystery that is sure to have readers looking at their humble local library in a new light. Mr. Lemoncello is an eccentric game designer who has just funded a very special new library in his hometown. In honor of the grand opening, Lemoncello has selected a dozen 12-year-olds to participate in an overnight lock-in event at the library. But when the kids wake up, they discover a new and unexpected game is afoot: whoever can find a way out of Mr. Lemoncello's library will win the grand prize. Avid readers will get a kick out of the references to classic and current children's literature as the kids solve clues to escape and win the game. Main character Kyle Keeley works hard to beat his nemesis, the conniving bully Charles Chilington, who constantly reminds everyone that he is always successful. As Lemoncello says, knowledge not shared remains unknown, and the group learns that working together just might be the key to solving the mystery. An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman riddle master himself, Willy Wonka. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Quirky game-maker Luigi Lemoncello has created the ultimate game for a lock-in at the town's new library. Kyle and his friends and classmates must solve literary and logic puzzles to escape the coolest library ever in this charming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory esque tale. Clever and filled with humorous puns, the narrative subtly reveals the real winners and losers.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 May #1
When a lock-in becomes a reality game, 12-year-old Kyle Keeley and his friends use library resources to find their way out of Alexandriaville's new public library. The author of numerous mysteries for children and adults turns his hand to a puzzle adventure with great success. Starting with the premise that billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello has donated a fortune to building a library in a town that went without for 12 years, Grabenstein cleverly uses the tools of board and video games--hints and tricks and escape hatches--to enhance this intricate and suspenseful story. Twelve 12-year-old winners of an essay contest get to be the first to see the new facility and, as a bonus, to play his new escape game. Lemoncello's gratitude to the library of his childhood extends to providing a helpful holographic image of his 1968 librarian, but his modern version also includes changing video screens, touch-screen computers in the reading desks and an Electronic Learning Center as well as floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stretching up three stories. Although the characters, from gamer Kyle to schemer Charles Chiltington, are lightly developed, the benefits of pooling strengths to work together are clear. Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children's book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike. (Mystery. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #4
Librarians and English teachers will happily recommend this adventurous romp from Grabenstein (the Riley Mack books), which pays playful homage to books and libraries while engaging readers in a fast-paced competition involving research and reasoning skills. Twelve seventh-graders win a chance to spend an overnight lock-in previewing their town's new public library--it's a marvel of technological delights conceived by Luigi Lemoncello, the Willy Wonkalike founder of Mr. Lemoncello's Imagination Factory, which is a source for every kind of game imaginable. During the lock-in the winners, who include game-lover Kyle Keeley and a group of multicultural classmates with a mix of aptitudes and interests, are offered a further challenge: "Find your way out of the library using only what's in the library." The winner will become spokesperson for the Imag-ination Factory. Book lovers will relish the lavish sprinkling of book titles and references while puzzle fans will enjoy figuring out the clues. A lighthearted parody of reality survival shows, the book reinvigorates the debate over the Dewey Decimal system and traditional library skills while celebrating teamwork, perseverance, and clever wits. Ages 9-12. Agent: Eric Myers, the Spieler Agency. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June
Gr 4-7--Bibliophiles unite! Melvil Dewey is alive and well and residing within Mr. Lemoncello's new library. Billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello wants to pay homage to his childhood library by constructing a technological marvel in his hometown that went without a library for 12 years. He invites a dozen 12-year-olds to a lock-in at the new building, and when they arrive they find the eccentric game-maker has offered them a further challenge-if they can find their way out using only what's in the library-they will become the new spokesperson for Mr. Lemoncello's company. Kyle Keeley teams up with other students as unlikely alliances form, some children's true (not so nice) personalities emerge, and suspense builds while the kids enlist the aid of Mr. Lemoncello's childhood librarian, an Electronic Learning center, and book clues and references galore. The story feels like a cross between a reality show, an online game, and a tightly woven mystery. Dewey Decimal clues will hook librarians and teachers, while book lovers will delight at myriad references from Mr. Lemoncello, such as, "And now, I must return to my side of the mountain… I have great expectations for you all!" Book and game lovers alike will delve into this delicious tale and put on their thinking caps.--Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA [Page 124]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.