Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library 

By Chris Grabenstein 

Age Range: 8 - 12 years      
 Grade Level: 3 - 7
  Paperback: 336 pages
Release Date: June 22, 2013

Quick Book Talk

Have you ever forgotten to do your homework? Kyle Keely did. He found out that he forgot to do his assignment on the way to school. It is an essay assignment that is a contest where you can win an opportunity to spend the night at a new library in town. While on the bus, Kyle quickly tries to complete the assignment. He writes that he wants to go to the library grand opening because, “it will have balloons.” As Kyle gets to class and hands in his assignment, he finds out that his favorite game maker Luigi Lemoncello will be there & is the maker of the library. Kyle tries to make a last ditch effort to redo his essay to have a better chance of winning. As he enters and becomes more involved with the contest, Kyle quickly discovers that the contest is a game in itself & it has more at stake then he knows- including a game where he must escape from the library.

Book Trailer 


I close my eyes and wish that Mr. Lemoncello’s library is real.  I’ve heard reviews where Mr. Lemoncellos is described as a Willy Wonka. I was a little skeptical, but after reading this novel I truly believe he is the “Book Wonka.” 

The competition, and quotes like the one above, will be sure to draw readers in. Its whit, humor, and clever story will be perfect for reluctant readers. Readers can even help to solve the puzzles with the characters & the author has even included a puzzle at the end of the book for readers to try. It is the best game book I have read in a long time. What I am really excited about, is that the author put together a library scavenger hunt for libraries to implement. I am hoping Ms. S. will go for this. I think it would be fun to do an outreach book discussion with this book & then invite the students to do a scavenger hunt at their local public library. How cool would that be?  I was overall very happy with this book. I loved its underlining message about libraries. I thought the author did a fantastic job with this. I hope this will change some opinions about libraries and make our kids see how awesome it is! I think I am most excited to share this book in my outreach.

Discussion Questions 

Mr. Lemoncello decided to open his library in an extraordinary way. Why did he open the library in this way?

Mr. Lemoncello built the Alexiandriaville Library because the town did not have a library. Why are libraries important? How did the library help Mr. Lemoncello become who he was? What does your local library do to help you?

When Kyle doesn’t write his essay, he takes a chance and emails it in even though his teacher wouldn’t accept it. Why do you think Dr. Zinchenko picked him even after he turned in the essay late?

Why is Dr.  Zinchenko’s number one rule to be gentle with each other and with the library books and exhibits? Why do you think he doesn’t have more rules?  If you could make up any rule for the this library, what rules would you include?

It is optional to join the Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library game. Would you have participated? Why or why not?

The Alexiandriaville library is very unique. What was your favorite feature of the library? If you could add any of these features to your local library, what would you add?

On the statue of Mr. Lemoncello, there is the following quote: “Knowledge not shared remains unknown.” What do you think that quote means? How does the library help to share information?

As the characters in the book play Mr. Lemoncello’s game, they each come up with their own strategies. Who do you think was the worst and best player in the game & why?

Kyle and his family love to play board games. What is your favorite game to play and why?

To answer the clues in the game, the kids have to navigate around the library to find the answers. How is doing research in the library different from doing research at home? As the kids are playing the game, the run across many books (such as Charlotte’s Webb). Did you recognize any of the book titles that were mentioned in the book? Why do you think the author mentioned these titles? What is your favorite book?

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Also Look for Grabenstein's new book

- Pamela 

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