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

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  19,500 Ratings  ·  3,329 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 114 books — 456 voters
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
6th out of 373 books — 744 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
May 30, 2016 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
Raeleen Lemay
Jun 14, 2016 Raeleen Lemay rated it liked it
This was a super fun read! I loved trying to solve all the puzzles and clues along with the characters, but aside from that I had a few problems with it. Of course, this book is written for 8-12 year olds, and the writing definitely reflected that. Because the plot was so fun, it was easy to ignore the inconsistencies in the characters, and their one-dimensional natures, but now that I'm finished I can see those issues clearly.

Overall, a very entertaining, easy read. I recommend it! Just don't g
Aug 17, 2016 Brina rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, ohio
Lately I have been on an easy reading kick. I think I get this way every late winter. That being said, my kids had this book from the library for a reread and told me it is a great book and I should read it. I give this 4.5 stars because it is a great kids book, but to paraphrase my daughter, nothing is as good as Harry Potter.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a fun book for middle grade kids. The town of Alexandriaville, Ohio has not had a public library in 12 years, and millionaire toy
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
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
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!
Grade rating: 67% D

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. Also, the author kept making references to books. New books, not just the classics. I don't think references to recent literature should never happen, but I feel it's out of place. That got annoyin
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
Feb 22, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Για όσους λατρεύουν τα βιβλία, δεν υπάρχει μεγαλύτερη χαρά από ένα χώρο γεμάτο βιβλία. Αυτός ο χώρος θα μπορούσε να είναι είτε ένα βιβλιοπωλείο είτε μια βιβλιοθήκη. Επίσης, αν είστε τόσο nerd όσο εγώ, δεν υπάρχει καλύτερος συνδυασμός από βιβλία, παιχνίδια και γρίφους, όλα μέσα σε ένα περιβάλλον "παιδικής χαράς"και υψηλής τεχνολογίας.

Μην περιμένετε μεγάλες περιπέτειες και κακούς που καταδιώκουν τα παιδιά, το βιβλίο αφορά μια χαλαρή απολαυστική περιπέτεια μέσα στη βιβλιοθήκη, με απόλυτη ασφάλεια.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jun 02, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
What a magical and completely entertaining read! Reading these books as an adult, there is usually something that takes me out of the moment or a mechanism in the writing that isn't completely hidden. This book was seamless. I loved the characters, the settings and the lessons to be learned that were tucked in so stealthily you didn't even realize you were being taught. 5 big, bright stars!
Elly (imagineworkshop)
Aug 27, 2016 Elly (imagineworkshop) rated it really liked it
Wow I got through this book quickly. It feels like I just picked it up. Anyway, it was like a weird mix of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Night at the Museum meets Ready Player One. My biggest issue with this book was that the group of twelve year olds were too freaking smart. For not having a library in their town they sure knew a hell of a lot about books and libraries. It was so unrealistic that it kept pulling me out of the story. Either way, it wasn't a bad book. I would recommend ...more
Mar 27, 2015 Lizzie rated it liked it
As many have said, this is for readers who loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Westing Game or Mixed Up Files. This book is overflowing with layered puzzles and literary references masquerading as Dad jokes.
The flat and throw away characters and the overtop pandering to library land had me as an adult who works in libraries bored. BUT it went over well with the the bookworms of my Tween Book Club. It was light and fun and they loved the idea of such a tricked out library. We had a fun co
Karen *The Book Return Blog*
Mar 06, 2016 Karen *The Book Return Blog* rated it it was amazing
This is a kind of a new twist on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but better because it's in a library. I want to say that I not much of a middle grade reader but I am trying to get my kids to love reading and I am rereading some books that I loved as a kid. I say this on the library website and it seemed fascinating to me so I thought I would give it a short. I loved the characters and the games but my favorite was all the literary figures, authors, and books, that were worked into the sto ...more
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
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.
Mar 15, 2016 C. rated it it was amazing
I relish creativity, the bravery to make-up possibilities! I am amazed at how much fun this novel is; a writer appreciative of exciting stories. Dialogue sped naturally. We needn’t care about phrases being au-courant. I never compare literature to berate it. There is no ownership on a whacky adventure. I would cherish this kind of extravaganza! I love “Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” on its own merits, which are numerous. I venture to describe this story as: a younger, non-sullen “The Brea ...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
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
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
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Great book! AoA 1 3 Aug 16, 2016 07:03PM  
The Ishpeming Twe...: Summer Reading 2016 1 9 May 20, 2016 08:45AM  
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library 1 9 Feb 10, 2016 05:51PM  
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library 1 14 Feb 10, 2016 05:51PM  
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I loved this book so much! 4 21 Jan 15, 2016 06:09AM  
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CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY, MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY OLYMPICS, THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS, WELCOME TO WONDERLAND: HOME SWEET MOTEL and many other books, as well as the coauthor of numerous fun and funny page-turners with James Patterson, including I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, TREASURE HUNTERS, and JACKY HA-HA. Chris lives in New ...more
More about Chris Grabenstein...

Other Books in the Series

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

Share This Book

“A library doesn’t need windows, Andrew. We have books, which are windows into worlds we never even dreamed possible.” 19 likes
“And for the first time in his life, Kyle Keeley wanted to check out a library book more than anything in the world.” 1 likes
More quotes…