Thursday, July 11, 2013

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

This is a book for kids who like puzzles and games. It's also clearly a book for those who love libraries and the Dewey decimal system. Alexandriaville has a brand new and mysterious public library designed by the world's premiere game maker, and a group of kids is selected to spend the night there. What they don't realize is that they are part of an elaborate puzzle, and the real trick will be figuring out how to escape from the library. The main character is Kyle and readers will be rooting for him and his team the whole way through. There are obvious similarities to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but in this book the kids are solving puzzles and following clues that the reader can join in with. It's a little hard to keep track of all the kids and sometimes the dialogue between them is a little stilted, but the puzzles are good and my third grader was hanging on every word as we read this one aloud. Luigi Lemoncello and the head librarian mention many, many children's books and it would be great fun to read this to a class of kids and introduce them to all the books and authors that are mentioned, sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly. This is recommended for 3rd-6th graders and all children's librarians.

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