Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein is a New York Times Bestseller and has received starred reviews from both Booklist (“An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka.”) and Kirkus (“Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children’s book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike.”).  It is recommended for ages 8-12, grade levels 3-7 and boasts a mere 336 pages of fun from Yearling Publishers.

This is a story about an eccentric billionaire, Mr. Lemoncello, who decides to donate funds to rebuild the town library.  Mr. Lemoncello made his fortune by creating games and this influences the making of an eclectic library layout.  He decides to award some children a sneak peek at the library before it officially opens.  Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we follow the adventures of these children trying to “Escape for Mr. Lemoncello’s library”.

I recommend this book to book clubs and readers of all ages.  Additionally, there are many ways you can incorporate this book into your fall library programs.

For schools, consider displaying the book prominently in your media center.  Make it your book club’s first eRead of the school year. (Don’t forget that September 18th is International Read an eBook Day!)  Display the eBook on your monitors in the media center during Open House night.  Create gaming tables and include old favorites like checkers, Candy Land, and Jenga!  Be sure to load your digital library with plenty of fun read-a-likes and gaming books from OverDrive.

OverDrive has curated lists for the books in Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and read alikes. Chris Grabenstein even has a scavenger hunt for your library. Simply go to his web site, and follow the clues…er directions. Enjoy the Escape from Lemoncello’s Library, have fun with your students and patrons while reading fun books like this one and others like it, and may you all have a successful year.

As Mr. Lemoncello says: “Knowledge not shared remains unknown.”


Sheila Henline is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive