Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (paperback)
by Chris Grabenstein
AR Level 4.5, 7 points
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is about a boy named Kyle who isn’t a fan of reading. He loves games, however, especially games by Mr. Lemoncello. He is the youngest of three boys, and he doesn’t have a “thing” like his brothers. One is a great athlete and one is a great student. Kyle is chosen to participate in a competition in a high-tech library funded by Mr. Luigi Lemoncello, and he soon finds he should’ve been a better reader. The 11 other students in the competition either become allies or enemies of Kyle. They work together to solve puzzles and riddles, and use their knowledge of books to get themselves out of the library before noon on Sunday.
What I liked about this book is that it promotes team work and kindness, literacy, and responsibility. There are certain prizes and rewards afforded those who work together and demonstrate generosity or teamwork, and that might not be obvious to the kids. It is not written at a challenging AR level, but it does get the students to think about the book and puzzles. I think it would be over the heads of many of my students, only because most don’t have the experience with most of the titles and authors, or even rebus puzzles. I enjoyed testing my knowledge of books, though! Kyle is an avid gamer, and this book would attract other students who game.
What I didn’t like about this book was that it wasn’t very challenging. I still felt like some of the puzzles weren’t answered, or maybe they were, but it skipped over those parts. It felt like some parts of the book were really slow, while others were really fast. Also, the characters weren’t well-developed. The author gave just enough information for us to follow along and understand the book, but it left me wanting more of something. I just can’t put my finger on it. There were lots of opportunities for the author to create more, but I think he gave us what we needed to know. It was an okay book. Not a 10, but I had no problem seeing it through, mainly because I wanted to see how they got out.
Book 10 of 40 (paperback)