I was at the bookstore the other day getting a birthday present for a friend when I randomly found a book called Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. The cover is awesome and colorful and the premise (a bunch of kids stuck in a fantastic library) sounded right up my ally. How did it turn out? As always SPOILERS AHEAD.
dewey decimal system , various rooms dedicated to reading, genre's, high tech simulations, education and other various things. The children play some games and win some prizes. The next morning they are informed that if they choose, they may stay and play an epic game of escape the library. 5 kids decide to leave, leaving the seven remaining children to play the game. The kids team up in various ways and find clues and puzzles to try and figure out the solution. After either breaking rules, or losing Extreme Challanges it comes down to the final team of Kyle, Akimi, Miguel, Sierra and Haley. The kids work together and find the solution, winning the grand prize of appearing in commercials for Mr. Lemoncello. The kids learn that reading, kindness and teamwork are what it takes and they all live happily ever after for at least the year.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were inevitable and over all I think I like the chocolate factory a bit more for it's sheer craziness. It was a good book, not a great book and I think I would enjoy it a lot more if I were a 12 year old. The author did manage to stuff the story full of great book references both classic and modern and rally tried to show the merits of reading, while still acknowledging technology and it's appeal. I give this book 6 out of 10 trivia cards and recommend it to middle grades everywhere. Happy Reading Everybody?
What is your favorite game/puzzle based book? What crazy Mr. Lemoncello game do you want to play? How cool would it be to be able to sleep in a library?