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Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a fun and light adventure aimed at upper elementary aged readers. There is a strong Willy Wonka vibe—a group of 12-year-olds win entry into the world’s most amazing library, before anyone else has a chance to see it.

Once there, they have to solve a series of puzzles to discover the secret escape route in order to win more prizes. But unlike Willy Wonka, Mr. Lemoncello doesn’t reduce the number of contestants one by one until only one ultimate winner remains. On the contrary, this book is as much about teamwork as anything else, and (almost) all of the participants end up working together to figure out the solution.

That they do solve it, just in the nick of time, comes as no surprise. This isn’t the kind of book with tragic twists or deep introspection. That doesn’t make it a bad book; in fact, the plot-driven story, full of action, is likely to be especially popular with reluctant readers. And the frequent references to other books might inspire further investigation into those works (the main character, Kyle, is not an avid reader, but often thinks “I need to read that!” when he hears his fellow contestants mention books that are helping them solve the puzzles).

Escape is the first in a series of five (so far!) ‘Mr. Lemoncello’s Library’ books. Other books in the series include Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Race, where participants rush to find information about famous Americans, and Mr. Lemoncello and the Titanium Ticket, where the kids work through super-sized versions of classic games such as Jenga and Chutes & Ladders. Each of the books also has a bonus puzzle at the end for readers to solve.

These books are fun and clever, appealing to a wide variety of readers. You can check them all out through the links below:


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