Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Written by Chris Grabenstein
Reviewed by Dov G. (age 12)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, the first book in the Mr. Lemoncello series, is a novel about a seventh grader named Kyle Keeley, who hears about an essay-writing contest, the prize for the twelve winners being that they will be the first ones inside Mr. Lemoncello's new library, which until now has been absolutely top-secret. He thinks that he sent in his essay too late, but then he ends up being chosen as one of the winners. The morning after the lock-in he won the right to attend, the winners are told that there will be a contest to be the first to find the secret exit from the library. Will he be able to make it out first? Read the book to find out!
I liked this book a lot, in part because of the puzzles and games throughout and the strange details thrown in. Throughout Mr. Lemoncello's speech, he makes references to various other book titles. The book made me want to come up with my own games based on the ones in it. I enjoyed the author's fun and humorous style. Mr. Lemoncello imparts several life lessons throughout the book. An example is that it's never over until it's over, which he tells Kyle after he realizes that he hadn't been too late to enter the essay contest. As the book itself states, Mr. Lemoncello bears some resemblance to Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I would recommend this unique book, and the rest of the series, to anyone 8-9 and up, so that it can be fully appreciated. It would especially be enjoyed by those who like games, adventure, and a good dose of strangeness.