Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein published in 2013 by Yearling
Question: Cross Willy Wonka, the Parkers Brothers, and your local librarian and what do you get?
Answer: Mr. Lemoncello — a gazillionaire with a ginormous love for books and board games.
Recently, he’s built the Library To Beat All Libraries in Kyle’s home town, then created a contest to pick twelve lucky twelve-year-olds for a lock-in extravaganza to celebrate the grand opening.
Why would you want to be locked into a library?
Well, this library is quite a bit different than the one in your neighborhood. For starters, there’s the Wonder Dome. “Lined with ten giant video screens, it can make the whole building feel like a rocket ship blasting off into outer space!” And that’s just for starters.
Kyle and his fellow twelve-year-olds discover that their contest continues inside the library. This time, they’re challenged by Lemoncello to find a way out — to escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library — within 24 hours.
The rules are set. The riddles and games are peculiar. The time is ticking. Who will win the prize by escaping first?!
Reading this book is like going to the fun fair — it’s fast-paced, exciting, full of gadgets with whistles and menacing mazes. There’s a bratty villain and some lovable whiz kids and a highly-eccentric game genius.
It’s a fast, upbeat, story packed with clues to puzzle out along with the contestants. And — there are dozens and dozens of references to great children’s literature throughout. In fact,at the end of the book there are 3 or 4 pages where you can find listed every book referenced. Plus — and this is your super bonus prize — there’s an additional clue that will help you solve an extra puzzle all on your own.
This book has been flying off the shelves like candy since it came out and I can understand why. Hand it to kids ages 9 and up and forget about seeing them for a few days!