Book of the Month: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

book cover

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Escaping from a library? What is there to escape from? A title like that is an instant hook, along with the colorful cover. Based on an interesting what if, this is a great book for any reader.

Our hero is twelve year old Kyle. He is the youngest of three brothers and often feels he is not good at anything. From the beginning you see that while competitive, he is also kind and thoughtful. When he wins a $500 gift card to use on Lemoncello games, instead of spending it all himself, he splits it up between his family.

Kyle is one of twelve winners who are invited to a library lock-in at Mr. Lemoncello's new library. Mr. Lemoncello is a millionaire game maker. However, getting out of the library isn't as easy as getting in. The kids must compete to be the first to escape from the library and become a star in Mr. Lemoncello's commercials. Through puzzles and clues, Kyle and his team race to beat Charles and his team to get out of the library. Risks are taken and alliances formed. As the game comes to an end, the race becomes frantic. Who will get out first?

Thoughts about Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

The story is well written and fast paced. By the end of the book, you won't want to put it down. Of the twelve kids, only seven are actually around for most of it. But those seven are all unique. There's Charles, the stuck up snob, Haley the cheerleader, and Sierra the book geek to name a few. The library is amazing. There's a game room, holographic librarians, and more. I wish I had one like it.

One of the best parts of the book is Mr. Lemoncello. He is the Willie Wonka of the book world. Instead of a factory, he has a library. He wears fart shoes. He's funny. Mr. Lemoncello is awesome. He also encourages kids to be creative and read. That's the most important thing to him.

Throughout the book, Mr. Lemoncello frequently makes references to books. Twenty-five are referenced and others are mentioned. Sometimes it's subtle, other times they're easy to see. The puzzles are great too. Chris Grabenstein also includes an extra puzzle for readers to solve. Some versions have a hint in the back, but for those who don't, here's a hint from me. See what else you can play First Letters with in the book.


The book is geared towards elementary and middle schoolers, though a teenager would like it just as well. It is a great read aloud but I warn you, they won't want to stop. Great for kids who love reading and a bit of humor.


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