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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,394 Ratings  ·  2,729 Reviews
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 cov
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Chris I hope so. I tried to make it a fun and fast paced read.
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Amy Eydman
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Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanNavigating Early by Clare VanderpoolDoll Bones by Holly BlackEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris GrabensteinFlora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Newbery 2014
4th out of 97 books — 442 voters
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
5th out of 360 books — 715 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 18, 2013 karen rated it really liked it
this is the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for book- and puzzle-nerds. or, as one character says, "It'll be like The Hunger Games but with lots of food and no bows or arrows."

it takes place in alexandriaville, ohio (not a real place, but a real cutesy reference, one of many peppering this book), whose town library was demolished 12 years ago. a wealthy eccentric gentleman who made his fortune creating a series of very popular games and puzzles decides to rebuild the library and engineers an e
Marjorie Ingall
Dec 19, 2013 Marjorie Ingall rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-9-12

It gets one star because it has the word LIBRARY in the title. I like libraries.

But Chris Grabenstein does not. At least, he doesn't like libraries qua libraries. His version of an ideal library is like being floo-powdered into World of Warcraft then spiked with Disneyland and dosed with Ritalin. The book talks the talk about the awesomeness of libraries but then shows
Jan 11, 2014 Beth rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a messy, loud book crammed full of one-note characters, dizzying book references, and an illogical plot. There is no nuance, no suspense, and no character growth. This is the story of a puzzle, not the story of the people solving it - much to the book's detriment. The Westing Game would be a better choice; in fact, it's entirely possible that book was name-dropped in this one. There were so many awkward book references shoehorned into the story that I honestly couldn't keep track.

And I'm
Whenever I see a book about a library, I tend to order it for the collection at my library. This was one of the best things to come from this whim! Perfect for both the reluctant reader and avid bibliophile, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library had me hooked even as an adult.

Twelve 12-year-olds are selected for an overnight experience at their new public library. Little do they know, this is actually a set-up for the time of their lives. When the overnight is over, they find themselves locked-in
Dec 19, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit, own
A very fun book, especially for bookworms. I loved hearing about the library, and the games and puzzles were very clever. I really loved that there were lists of the books mentioned at the back!
The Library Lady
I cannot understand all the 4 star reviews and the NY Times best seller status of this book. Then again, most of what I find on the children's best seller list lately is mediocre junk!

This is yet another rip-off of Roald Dahl's immortal Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, complete with an eccentric inventor and a contest, only this time with a superduper library instead of a factory.

Here there is one "bad" kid, plus a few others who have their faults, and while they don't meet heinous fates, they
Aug 20, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
You know, I think Grabenstein missed an opportunity to have a great book instead of just a good one. The puzzles and mysteries were fantastically well-placed and a lot of fun to try to solve alongside Kyle and his friends, and I liked the positive teamwork message the book had to send. As a librarian, I absolutely adored the positive library portrayal, the fact that it was a place that was fun and exciting and the clever way the Dewey Decimal system was used in the book.

But to an extent, it see
2.5 stars

A super huge library is any book lover's dream! But this or comes with a catch...

I didn't really like this one.

The author was annoying, first of all. He was trying to make his characters seem like the kids of today. When Charles said "I'll Twitter it", my spine shuddered is disgust. It's called tweeting! Also, the author kept making references to books. New books, not just the classics. That got annoying real quick.

Second, it was so predictable. Kyle's team won, blah blah blah. The book
Jul 28, 2014 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
A fun, entertaining read. Unfortunately, some people might decide not to bother with reading this book since it seems too reminiscent of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." But before you make any hasty decisions, I'm glad to inform you Chris Grabenstein readily addresses the similarities and in quite an amusing manner. There were multiple references to books scattered throughout, which I found quite delightful. How could you not enjoy a book that's meant to teach children the wonderful joys an ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
First off are Patrick Carman and Chris Grabenstein secretly the same person?

Are they twins?

Their books felt so similar and not just because they were very poorly done Willy Wonka knockoffs. Both Floors and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library have shallow cardboard characters that spout out terribly unrealistic dialogue. Their plots are boring and consist of very little story beyond having a setting filled with over the top technology. They both strive to be witty and whimsical, and both fail,
Jun 14, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Review of an advance copy:

I'm breaking a 5-month Goodreads hiatus to post my review of this excellent book. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy and the kids at my library will be able to read the final version in only 11 days. I can't wait to hear their reactions! :)

So, for starters, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is brilliant. It has all the wonder, imagination, and wackiness of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory or Merganzer Whippet's hotel (Patrick Carman's Floors), and yet i
Mr. Lemoncello has the coolest library on the face of the planet! Sigh. Too bad it isn't a real place. Kyle and his friends win a chance to be the first to experience the new library and play some fun games. Mr. Lemoncello is, after all, a game creating genius. But the overnighter takes an unexpected turn when the door won't open in the morning and a new game is introduced. The game requires those who participate to find an alternative exit to the library, but they only have 24 hours to do it. K ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
I loved this book! To me, it was a love letter to libraries and books in general. As a librarian, I loved how Grabenstein showed how much fun finding information can be. I also appreciated that our protagonist Kyle was presented as a non-reader in the beginning, but evolved into a reader by the end after both talking to kids who liked to read and also picking up a book himself. Grabenstein also very cleverly and very subtly inserted a reading list for people who read this book. Several titles ar ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
+ 1/2 star just because it's hard to feel too snarky about a book that so unabashedly oozes such love for libraries and games.

I think this is the book that my 8-12 year-old self had always hoped for--if I could have written a book then it would be something like the world in this book. Some of my favorite books back then incorporated quirkiness and puzzles and word play. I loved the Westing Game and The Phantom Tollbooth and I wanted to love this book--because how could you not love the idea of
Emily Rosenbaum
Feb 04, 2013 Emily Rosenbaum rated it it was amazing
This is a book-lover’s book, a game-lover’s book, a sink-into-something-delicious-lover’s book. Twelve kids win an essay contest and get to do an overnight in the town’s new library, a facility way beyond state-of-the-art that fulfills the fantasy of every nine-year-old child with holographic librarians, talking mannequins, and hovercrafts to retrieve books. And let’s not forget the game room.

The kids soon learn that they’re actually in a contest to find the secret exit. Mr. Lemoncello – the bil
Jul 18, 2013 Donalyn rated it really liked it
A delightfully eccentric billionaire game creator, Luigi Lemoncello, credits his early success to the town library and its librarian. Building a new technologically fantastic library, he invites 12 contest winners to explore it first. A fun book full of literary references and library science, readers will enjoy discovering clues and learning more about books and libraries. I wonder how many children will pick up these references, but I hope it will spark my students' interest in finding more bo ...more
Jul 01, 2015 mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Η απόδραση από τη βιβλιοθήκη του κυρίου Λεμοντσέλο είναι ένα βιβλίο που εκ πρώτης όψεας δεν θα το επέλεγα καθώς μου φαινόταν αρκετά παιδικό.Το βρήκα όμως στη δημόσια βιβλιοθήκη και διαβάζοντας την ενδιαφέρουσα περίληψη αποφάσισα να του δώσω μια ευκαιρία.Τελικά αποδείχθηκε πως έκανα πολύ καλά γιατί πρόκειται για ένα φανταστικό βιβλίο.
Ο νεαρός Κάιλ έχει μια ήσυχη και φυσιολογική ζωή μαζί με τους γονείς του και τους αδερφούς.Η ρουτίνα του όμως θα αλλάξει όταν στη πόλη θα δημιυργηθεί μια νέα ιδιόμορ
Barb Middleton
Sep 21, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I went into a convenience store this morning and there on a stool was an African Gray Parrot bobbing in circles as it waited for its owner to check out at the counter. I live in Taiwan where it is common seeing dogs in grocery stores, restaurants, or pushed in baby strollers dolled up with bows and human clothes, but I've never seen a parrot. I found myself sitting on the stool next to it asking the gorgeous creature if it knew English, then feeling silly. It probably isn't a talking parrot. It ...more
Monica Edinger
Jul 23, 2013 Monica Edinger rated it really liked it
How about a contest in a new-over-the-top-cool library? The one in Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library involves a wealthy wacky Willy Wonka-like game-maker (and creator of the library), a varied bunch of kid competitors ( a la those in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but, with one exception, much nicer), and a completely awesome library (textual eye-candy for book lovers). Locked in to the library overnight, the kids race against the clock to find their way out using clues of ever sort --- ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing!!!! It was like a firework display. One surprise spark after another, leading to the breathtaking finale. It was sooooo good. I think it makes you look at the world at a different angle. It also makes me hope that this happens in the future! I recommend it for all readers!
Sarah Levy
Jan 18, 2016 Sarah Levy rated it it was amazing
What a FANTASTIC book!! A larger-than-life, puzzle-filled library with twists & turns in every corner. Sprinkled with lots of literary references. The Willy Wonka feel had me reminiscing about my childhood growing up with Roald Dahl. If I could, I would give this 10 stars!
Jul 01, 2015 Alvina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It’ll be like The Hunger Games but with lots of food and no bows or arrows. - Mr. Lemoncello

Tidak ada latar cerita yang lebih membahagiakan seorang kutubuku selain di dalam perpustakaan atau toko buku. Ini juga yang membuat saya tergoda saat seorang teman, Esi, mengupdate progress bacaannya akan buku ini. Langsung saya masukkan ke dalam wishlist sambil membaca sinopsisnya.

Kyle dan kesebelas temannya mendapatkan kesempatan untuk menginap semalam di sebuah perpustakaan yang belum dibuka. Tentu s
Aug 13, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Are you a library and board game lover? Than this book is for you! Meet Mr Lemoncello the Willy Wonka of the board game world and also a public library lover. He builds a new library in his home town and has a special sleepover night for 12 twelve year olds. The night is filled with games, prizes and surprises. Great for elementary and middle school students this book will have kids learning the Dewey Decimal System, as well as how to properly use a library.
Jul 14, 2014 April rated it it was amazing
This Ga. Children's Book Award nominee is a 5 in every way - so far my favorite read of the summer! I have never read any of the work by Chris Grabenstein before and was surprised to learn that he had actually worked for James Patterson (yes, the author) before they both started writing novels. In fact, he attributes his writing skills to his time working with him at an advertising agency.
I was hooked when I learned that the main character Kyle loved to play board games. I LOVE board games and
Nov 21, 2015 Glenda rated it really liked it
The world's most famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, has just designed a brand-new, state-of-the-art library in his hometown, and he's invited 12 lucky seventh graders to stay the night just before its grand opening. Avid gamer Kyle Keeley jumps at the chance to meet his idol and see a real live library. After the previous library's demolition, this is the first library this small town has had in 12 years. Kyle is elated when his essay is chosen, and he gets to be among the first to wander the ...more
Colby Sharp
Aug 08, 2013 Colby Sharp rated it it was amazing
This one might win a Nerdy.
Check out my other listens at Eargasms Audiobook Reviews

This is a really tricky review for me, I really enjoyed the book but I wonder if middle graders, who are the target audience, would feel the same. This book is a delight for big readers, there are tons of Easter eggs for avid readers. Again, some of the references might be above the grade level of perspective readers. I work with kids and while some are avid bookworms, not many would get all the references. The great thing is they might be
Mari Anne
Aug 21, 2013 Mari Anne rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book!! What's not to love??? Basically a MG re-working of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" but with an eccentric game maker and set in a LIBRARY!!! Not just any library either, but a state of the art, amazing, magnificent library with holograms, digital ceilings, mag lev lifts to retrieve books shelved high in the air, a gaming room and food! I really, really, really want to go to Mr. Lemoncello's library! Peppered with fun puzzles, anagrams, rubrics and literally DOZENS of literat ...more
Mar 21, 2014 Rifda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Ini tentang perpustakaan.. how can I resist?!

I RECOMMEND THIS TO YOU WHO LOVE LIBRARY! People said "It's just another Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!" or "A follower of Roald Dahl".. SO WHAT?!

I agree with endorsement on the back-cover, that this novel is "A worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka." and if you don't really care about those Willy-Wonka-things, just believe what James Patterson has said on the front-cover: "Discover the coolest library in the w
Nov 16, 2014 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery, puzzle book. It is full of puzzles and clues to the mystery. It also makes many references to modern books and websites as well as classic literature and it's authors.
This book is about a group of children who win an essay contest and, as a reward, are granted early access to the town's new library. This library was designed by the rather eccentric, famed, game creator, Mr. Luigi Lemoncello. When they arrive at the library, however, they are told that they ha
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I loved this book so much! 4 16 Jan 15, 2016 06:09AM  
MSBA (Maine Student Book Award 2 11 Jun 15, 2015 06:52AM  
Smith English 4250: Mr Lemoncello's Library Review 1 5 Jun 10, 2015 11:38AM  
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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 four Agatha Awards, he is also the co-author with James Patterson of The #1 New York Times bestseller I FUNNY.

A former writer for Jim Henson's Muppets and past president of the New York Chapter of the
More about Chris Grabenstein...

Other Books in the Series

Mr. Lemoncello's Library (2 books)
  • Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics

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“A library doesn’t need windows, Andrew. We have books, which are windows into worlds we never even dreamed possible.” 17 likes
“Dr. Yanina Zinchenko, the world-famous librarian, was walking briskly” 2 likes
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