| I thoroughly enjoyed Escape from Mr. Lemocello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. It is full of puzzles and clues to a 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 have a chance to participate in a new game, called ‘Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library’. These children have 24 hours to find their way to a hidden exit in the library. The winner stars in Mr. Lemoncello’s commercials.
I enjoyed how the books switched viewpoints among the different teams, and the reader is able to have more clues to work the puzzle than the characters in the book have.
I really enjoyed the book references in the story. The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil. E. Frankweiler, Pseudonymous Bosch, Sherlock Holmes, and The Rats of Nimh and others were mentioned. Having read any of these may have given the reader more hints. I found myself trying to figure out clues and rebuses before reading further to see what the characters actually thought about them.
I am pleased that the characters who cheated, lied, or even those who were rough with the books and other contestants, were eliminated. In other books I have read, things like those go unpunished, and it upsets me because it teaches that lying and cheating is acceptable. Clearly, actions like those are not suitable in society.
I am incredibly pleased I was able to read this before the publishing date, and I am looking forward to reading other titles by this author. Fans of literature everywhere would enjoy this fantastic book.
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