Thursday, April 16, 2015

TBR Pile: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is the first book in Chris Grabenstein's Mr. Lemoncello's Library series. He wrote one recently called The Island of Dr. Libris that is the same type of book but not technically in this series. The second book is scheduled to release in 2016, I think. The book centers around twelve twelve-year-old children who have won an essay contest to be the first group of people to check out a very interesting, rather adventurous library designed by a famous board game designer who used to live in their small Ohio town. The kids soon find out that their "lock-in" has become an exciting game where they must solve an intricate puzzle and find their own way out of the library.

I love this cover! It's so active and fun, and it represents the book perfectly.

(picture taken from Goodreads;
jacket illustration by Gilbert Ford;
jacket design by Nicole de las Heras)

Conclusion: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library was such a fun book! Predictable, yes, although some of the details surprised me. And it wasn't exactly realistic--I don't know of a lot of libraries funded by billionaires who plan eccentric games to get kids excited about reading. I saw a few bad reviews on Goodreads while I was reading this, and I think those people probably expected something a bit more traditional. But maybe this book is the push your kid will need to really start reading?

Recommendation: This is a great read for anyone who loves a dose of fun with their awe of libraries. And I would recommend this book especially to people who like puzzles and childrens' adventure books.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is my seventh choice for the 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge. It is also a 2015/16 nominee for the Mark Twain Award. Are there any books written for children or young adults that you all would recommend? I always read them faster than adult books, so it's easy to fit more in.


  1. I love junior and YA fiction! I recommend:

    The Westing Game by Ellen Rasking
    The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
    The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
    The Melendy Quartet by Elizabeth Enright
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
    Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
    The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
    Lady MacBeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein
    Half Magic by Edward Eager (and all the rest of his books)

    Okay, I'll stop there :-) Those are all books I either loved as a kid and continue to love reading as an adult, or books I discovered as an adult.

    1. Nice suggestions! I've read some of those but am still working on the others. :) I think I've heard of all of them except Half Magic and The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

  2. This is interesting, I think I should try reading this book. I love children's books, they always have something an adult could think more of. That's why I made a project of reading children's literature on my blog.
    You may try Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Books or Coraline (actually, I love all his books, for children and adults), they're a little bit dark, but also sweet in their own way.
    My all time favorites are The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, and the Narnia series.
    I like Diana Wynne Jones' too, though I have only read some of her books. Oh, and Kate DiCamillo. And, basically, I explore the Newbery medalists.

    1. All great suggestions! I'm ashamed to say I've never read The Little Prince, but it's on my list. And you're right; I love the alternate perspectives of the child's view versus the adult's. There is always good stuff to be found in kids' books.

  3. It sounds like great fun! I've had it on my radar for a while, looks like I'll have to move it up closer to the top. :)

    I enjoy a lot of YA, here's a few I suggest:
    The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis - fabulous!
    The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab - historical and the imagery is very vivid
    The Agency series by Y.S. Lee - if you enjoy historicals and mysteries, very well written
    The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - just finished this one recently and while it's fantasy, it's not really a typical fantasy story. I just really, really loved the island and the water horses and Puck especially.

    1. Yeah, Kara, I had seen mixed reviews before reading it, but I'm glad I did. It's just really fun and definitely a quick read (and that's coming from a slow reader). I lovelovelove C.S. Lewis--just everything he wrote! If you haven't read his sci-fi trilogy, you should. The first book is called Out of the Silent Planet. I haven't read any of your other suggestions, but they all sound really good, thanks.

  4. I so want to read this book!! I do love the colorful cover very much. The cover of the book is so colorful. :-)

    1. It is! And this is one of those books that you'll love if you like the cover. :)