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The Island of Dr. Libris

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,865 ratings  ·  803 reviews
What if your favorite characters came to life? Billy’s spending the summer in a lakeside cabin that belongs to the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is going on. Besides the security cameras everywhere, there’s Dr. Libris’s private bookcase. Whenever Billy opens the books inside, he can hear sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. The clash of s ...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published March 1st 2015)
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Wynne I would say 5th grade to 7th grade max, 4th grade may be ok but i think i would recommend 5th to 6th graders

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  5,865 ratings  ·  803 reviews

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Darth J
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointing
I was excited to read this. I wanted to like it, but I just didn’t Joseph Gordon-Loveit.

We have the premise of a boy named Billy who goes with his mom to a cabin owned by Dr. Libris and finds out that his visit is an experiment in imagination. Essentially, Billy discovers a locked bookcase with leather-bound tomes (don’t get your hopes up here, Dear Reader) and while he reads from these books the characters appear on the island that is somehow 20 minutes away by rowboat but he can hear them clea
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Ms. Yingling
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Billy is forced to spend the summer at a lake, in a cabin with his mother, who is working on her doctoral dissertation, and thus does not have much time for him. His father, a freewheeling sort, is going back to the city; his parents have not been getting along. Billy notices that there is not a television in the cabin, and after he breaks his iPhone rescuing five-year-old neighbor Alyssa's doll from a tree, he figures the only way to entertain himself is to investigate Dr. Libris' very cool lib ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Simply open our books and read, and we shall once more be at your side." - Maid Marian (p.233)

I have mixed feelings about this book. I understand why some people dislike this and why some others like this. More review may come soon, but now now, it's a happy new year btw :)

It's actually 3,5 stars but I'm not in the mood to be a kind reviewer and mark it as 4 instead of 3. I marked it as a 3-star-book. But let's not underestimate this book!

This is definitely fun, fast-paced, and humorous (if
Kim McGee
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just plain good old fashioned fun - a summer away from gadgets just sounds really boring for Billy who is held captive in a cabin while his mother works on her dissertation and dad has stayed in the city. The good news is that he is really a lab rat for Dr. Libris who is looking for an imaginative kid to find the key and make his way over to the island for an adventure. What Billy doesn't know is that he, along with his neighbor Walter is in for the adventure of a lifetime. Books come to life on ...more
I feel I should start this review by saying that my 10 year old son loved this book. Not even halfway through listening to it he told me he would give it 5 stars. Then when it did finish, he said 5 out of 5 stars, unless he could do more. ;-) My 16 year old son even gave it 4 stars --- and his 4 stars are like my 5 stars. So as far as kids go, I'd say this book is a hit.

I, on the other hand, would give it a miss. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grab me at all. And middle grade reads are some of my
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great and cute cute book!! ADORED it. If you are a book lover, and ever dreamed about the characters in your favorite books coming to life, this book was written for you. You must go read it, right now, it's fantastic! So adorable, so cute, so fun. For book lovers, just like Grabenstein's other book ~ Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Read this one and that one, you won't be sorry! ...more
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook-reads
So good--not Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library good, but still a fun read. Adventure, fantasy, humor--all the things that make a good, clean children's book. Hercules is hilarious--particularly when trying to fit in with Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Some of the non-literary characters are a little one-dimensional and predictable, but I enjoyed the fantastical literary scenes so much it didn't bother me as much as it might have.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Share this with fans of Cornelia Funke's trilogy Inkheart
Linda Klinedinst
This Book is really good. I dearly love this Book. I highly recommend this Series which is called Mr. Lemoncello's Library Series. I dearly love all three books in this Series.

I give this Book 5/5 Stars here on Goodreads.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
A cute middle grade story that my daughters loved. And I love that Grabenstein is writing books that encourage kids to pick up and read older children's books. What a great idea.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Billy is spending the summer at a cabin owned by the mysterious Dr. Xiang Libris. (X Libris. Yeah. It's that kind of book.) There's no tv, no internet, and, conveniently, no smartphone: Billy's iPhone breaks as soon as they arrive at the cabin. Oh, but do you know what there is instead? A mysterious library! Because of course there is. And do you know what happens when Billy reads the books? The characters come to life! Because of course they do.

Before long, Billy has populated the island in th
Bluerose's  Heart
This book has a zany kookiness about it, which I like to refer to as "wonderfully weird", that reminds me a bit of Roald Dahl. There are lots of goofy lines and situations that made me snicker, and even laugh out loud. This book is a salute to the many worlds that can be visited and created through imagination. There's also a strong pull to read great classic books out there, especially one of the many mentioned within this story. With that combination, how can one go wrong with this book?!

On to
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read an ARC of this book, which is a great suggestion for summer reading for upper elementary students. This is another original adventure from the author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and it tells the tale of a boy who discovers an island where the characters from books he reads actually come to life. There are lots of twists and turns as the story unfolds, and I love that all the books mentioned during the story are listed by the author at the end.
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Really like this for older elementary students"

Love how the book includes classic literature that kids might have heard of but never thought to read.., and will want to after listening to this story. We see friendship, parents having trouble, bullies and much more. Think this would appeal to boys since main characters are boys, but girls will like also. Love how one's imagination can get one into situations that require quick thinking. Highly recommend audio.
Ryan Keefe
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was terrific because there were so many plot twist's. The book is about a kid that is at a lake with his mom for the summer and wont return back home till school starts. He is questioning why are there security cameras around the whole camp. When he finds a key and reads books things start coming he hears noises. You will haft to read to find out more!
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Quick, grabby little story. I like that his characters coming to life are classic rather than harry Potter. I especially like the bully falling for Pollyana :). I'm glad he listed the books he referenced at the end for encouragement in further reading.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I read this because it looked like a Lemoncello book, but that was a mistake.

If you liked Lemoncello for the way it let you revel in your love of books, don't read this. The protagonist can imagine book characters to life, but then they are alive and he puts the book down to go on fantasy adventures with them. I get the metaphor of this, but I didn't need to be convinced that reading is magical. I wanted to read about books. But every book in this story gets thrown aside after Billy reads exact
Mikey Golczynski
Jun 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was so excited for this book, too. I haven't read any of the I, funny series, but I was blown away by Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. My libary coop used it for our county wide battle of the books and the kids were eating it up. I even hosted an escape event at my library using the resources from the book. So, you can see how excited I was when I heard this was coming out. It seemed like a worthy successor to Lemoncello. The premise being that Dr. Libris has an island with (never explain ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jf-fantasy
This was a humorous story of a boy whose imagination, quite unbeknownst to him, is being studied by Dr. Xiang Libris, or X. Libris (get it?) Anyway, whatever Billy reads from a book comes to life on the island in the middle of the lake behind the house he and his mother are renting. After Billy has gone to the island and discovered that the characters he has read about have come to life (Hercules, Robin, Maid Marion), he gets the next door neighbor, Walter involved as well. Suffice it to say, th ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this with the kids as an audio book. Great narrator. The whole story just jumped to life quite forcefully! I love how Chris Grabenstein writes books that make you want to go look up other books next.
Trix Wilkins
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I read Escape from Mr Lemoncello's Library (and the sequel) first which I absolutely loved. I really liked the hero in this novel, but wasn't anywhere near as engaged or as connected to the characters and the story as I was with the Lemoncello Library series.
"Each of us can choose who or what we shall be. We write our own stories, Sir William. We write them each and every day."

Billy Gillfoyle's summer is going to be spent lakeside, with his mom working on her thesis and his dad in California. Little does he know that he has been chosen by the enigmatic Dr. Xiang Libris to test what he calls The Theta Project which, in essence, allows someone to unleash book characters onto his island by reading their story. Or does it? How does it actually work? Bec
Billy Gillfoyle is reluctantly spending his summer on Lake Katrine in a quirky cabin owned by his mom's colleague, Dr. Libris. Billy has an uneasy feeling that his parents are drifting apart and will be in the midst of a divorce soon. His dad high-tails it back to New York soon after dropping the two of them at the cabin.

He is confused and bewildered by the TV, weird art, a multitude of security cameras, and an elaborate and immense collection of books that belong to Libris. What wil
Since his parents need to spend some time away from each other, Billy Gillfoyle and his mother rent a lake cottage from her employer, Dr. Libris, a man with questionable values and an inclination to ignore the basic tenets of scientific research. As it turns out, the place is filled with security cameras and not much to do other than read. The man's bookshelves contain beautiful carvings and several classics. As Billy reluctantly opens a book, its characters start speaking to hi, and he meets, b ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars. I LOVED Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, loved it so much that I recommended that book to EVERYONE. Can you imagine my excitement & high hopes for this book? Yep, this SHOULD HAVE been excellent (cool cover, author's last work was awesome, excellent premise...especially for book nerds), and yet.

I was BORED much of the time while reading this. I kept picking it up & putting it down with relief, and then forcing myself to have to stick with it (a significant gap in time happened
I was disappointed! There is so much potential with the idea of literature coming to life via one's imagination especially in childhood when everything is possible. I really enjoyed Billy and Walter and the bookcase in Dr Libris' library. Walter provided comic relief. I did not enjoy the hodge podge of characters thrown together on the island. Pollyanna served no purpose except to babysit Alyssa. She was a distraction. The comic book characters did not contribute in a positive way either when pl ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
In order to like this story you have to read it with a child's imagination. When children tell a story they embellish it more and more spinning one story into another into another, and that is just the way this story develops. First you have Billy. Billy has arrived to spend the summer with his mom at a cabin by a lake owned by a Dr. Libris, a professor at his mom's college. Billy is worried because he has noticed his parents spending more and more time apart, and when they are together they arg ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Book #6 Read in 2015
The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein (YA)

I enjoyed this author's book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and was excited for the chance to review this one...and it did not disappoint. In this book, Billy is spending the summer in a cabin with his mother, who is working on her dissertation. She encourages Billy, who is looking for the cabin's television, to check out expansive library/study of Dr. Libris. Billy does so and the books come to life...literally...on an
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this middle grade novel. Billy and his mother go to stay at a lakeside cabin for the summer. It is a young boy's friends around, no television, no computer, and a broken iPhone. His parents are separated and he is unsure of what will happen so add worry to the boredom. But there is a great library, a mystery and an island. Soon Billy makes friends with Walter, the boy next door, the two have adventures on the island with the likes of Hercules, Robin Hood, the ...more
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CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling. His books include the LEMONCELLO LIBRARY series, the WONDERLAND series, and many fun and funny page-turners co-authored with James Patterson. You can visit Chris at

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