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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

(MMGM) Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library {Review and Giveaway}

I'm so stoked to share my review of this book today, as a part of the March MG Madness! You can also enter to win a hardcover copy of your own below, and you can win a copy here...

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
by Chris Grabenstein
Random House Kids

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.

I adore EVERYTHING about Chris Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library! With non-stop fun, fascinating puzzles to solve, one of the BEST settings ever, and lovable characters, this is one of my most recent favorite middle-grade reads!

The famous and eccentric game creator, Luigi Lemoncello, has opened up an epically awesome library in Kyle Keely’s hometown. Gamel-over Kyle, his friends, and a few classmates, have been invited to a fun lock-in at the library and will be the first ever patrons. After a fun night of puzzles, food, games, and exploring the massive library of wonders, the kids awake to find the doors locked. Why? Because Mr. Lemoncello has invited them to participate in his most wild game yet: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library! The kids have 24 hours to use the library resources to find a way out and win a fabulous prize. For Kyle and his friends, the Game. Is. On.

Chris Grabenstein has concocted one of the most fun, most fascinating, and most imaginative stories I’ve had the sheer joy of reading in a long time!  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is just pure fun from beginning to end and will captivate middle-grade and adult readers alike.

As a booknerd, libraries are naturally sacred places to me and Grabenstein has created a truly spectacular library that is part Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Hogwarts, and Night of the is that epic! From state of the art 3D holograms and video games to its massive size, floor to three story high ceiling bookshelves, interactive EVERYTHING, and So. Much. More...this is one unforgettable and wild setting. Like me, young readers will have so much fun exploring and trying to escape this library with Kyle and company, and will want desperately for it to be a real place!

Trying to escape this wondrous place is, as Kyle discovers, not easy. Full of clever twists, entertaining puzzles, thrilling obstacles, and books books books, this whimsical game is a booklover’s dream and makes for an endlessly fun read. Not only will young readers have a blast reading  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, they will learn so many fascinating things! I am just in awe of how many beautiful ways Grabenstein has honored and celebrated books, reading, and libraries.

And as if the setting and story weren’t cool enough, the characters are awesome too! Kyle and his friends Akima and Miguel are relatable, lovable, and full of humor, while Charles Chiltington makes for a wonderfully slimy and mean antagonist. My two fave characters- wacky, charismatic Mr. Lemoncello, and sweet, booknerd, Sierra- are just fantastic and I love them so much!

My Final Thoughts: The twisty puzzles and wild fun in  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library don’t stop till the very last page (and maybe beyond, lol!). Chris Grabenstein has created something utterly magical and spellbinding with this book and will have young readers checking out this book again and again!


Chris Grabenstein is an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. 
Winner of two Anthony and three Agatha Awards, he is also the co-author with James Patterson of The New York Times bestseller I FUNNY. 
A former writer for Jim Henson's Muppets and past president of the New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, Chris co-wrote the screenplay for the CBS-TV movie, The Christmas Gift, starring John Denver. 
He lives in New York City with his wife, three cats, and a rescue dog named Fred, who starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway. You can visit Chris (and Fred)

Win a signed copy of 
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library!
Thanks to the very generous author, I have one signed copy of this awesome book to give away to one lucky cupcake.
-US only
-ends 3/31
-must be 13+, one free entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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Carl Scott said...

I think my favorite library by appearance is the Public Library in Kansas City. The car-park has been made to look like a bunch of huge classic books. When I first saw pictures of it I thought they were Photoshopped. Thanks

Unknown said...

The library in spring lake, nj is also creepy and beautiful, used to be a private mansion. ivy-covered with suspicious-looking attic windows...
thanks for this fun review. i look forward to reading this fun MG title with my girls!

Brenda said...

The library I most enjoyed visiting was in Alexandria Egypt. It houses an Internet Archive of all the webpages on every website since 1996. It is a beautiful space with tons of books, museum etc. A wonderful thing to have seen.

Unknown said...

WOW, Ihave not thought too much about visiting a Library, but perhaps, I would want to visit the Kennedy Presidental library or the Carnigie Library.

Hummingbird (20SecondsWithMC) said...

We already have the book, so I don't need to enter but my ten-year old daughter loves this book. Chris Grabenstein is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Off to share this post on Twitter!
~Cool Mom for Stanley & Katrina

Chris Grabenstein said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Send me the winner's info at and I will send them a SIGNED copy of the book.

Jillyn said...

I'd love to visit the New York Public Library. It's so gorgeous!

Unknown said...

(This is Darith L)

I'd like to visit the NY Public Library :D

Unknown said...

I would love to visit the Library of Congress. I can only imagine the wonderful documents that are there.

Anonymous said...

This was one of my favorite reads of the year last year! This book is SO FUN and fast-paced. I really want to visit the London Library. But really it is my goal to visit the library in every city I travel to. Because I am a nerd. ;-)

Unknown said...

I would love to visit Carnegie library.

D.E. Malone said...

The library at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC was amazing!

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

My favorite library is the library I visited in my childhood, which I visit even though I've moved one city over. I had a ton of great memories there.
I would love to visit the NY Public Library

anne s. said...

we LOVED your book in our house! i personally would wna go to the nypl. can't believe i have never been there!

Orchid said...

While my library, or any of the ones I've visited, are nothing like the one in the book I love them. Seriously though, libraries are one of the best places to go.

While I cannot think of a real library I would like to visit, I sometimes wish the Hogwarts library was real just so I could see it.

This sounds like another excellent MG read. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on it.