Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

I don't always write up reviews for the books I read aloud to Sean and Trevor, but this was too good a book to ignore. We thoroughly enjoyed the read and have been thinking and talking about it ever since we finished it. Moreover, at the end of the book, in an author's note, Chris Grabenstein mentions that there was an additional puzzle in the book that wasn't in the story and he welcomes readers to write to him with the solution, when they find it. Oh, how I want to discover the puzzle and the solution (you can find an additional hint here). Oh, how I want to write to him triumphantly with the answer (even though the contest for figuring out the solution has come and gone). Alas, for now, we cannot ferret it out.

When Kyle Keeley fails to give his best to an essay contest, he is sure that he will not win a place at the opening night lock-in at Mr. Lemoncello's new library. Surprisingly, his weak effort is rewarded, but that is only the beginning of the story. Now that the grand and illustrious library has been unveiled, the group of twelve twelve-year-olds invited to the lock-in find they must play a game in order to escape from the library before time ticks out. Packed with clues and rebus puzzles, the story brings the reader along as the children attempt to figure out the only possible exit. Sean was thoroughly enthralled and eager to figure out the keys to the mystery. Plus, we loved hearing all the references to books we know of or have read. Sean marveled at how current the book was.

When we completed the story, Sean declared it to be one of his top five favorite books. Here are his favorites in order: 1) The Harry Potter series (which we are reading again for the umpteenth time), 2) The Just Grace series, 3) The Boys Against the Girls series, 4) The Ivy and Bean series, and 5) Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (the only stand-alone book). While I wouldn't put the book in my top five, it was still an outstanding read, full of intrigue and suspense. A great book for bibliophiles and a great book to keep the brain working over the summer break from school.

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