Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library: Book Review

May 25th, 2015 by

I love this book! Or should I say…


Rebuses like this one play a key role in the book, along with all kinds of other fun puzzles. And it’s up to the kids in the story to piece together all the clues and find the ultimate solution — in order to win the ultimate prize!

In Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, a bunch of middle schoolers are selected to spend the night at their new town library, which has been designed by the world’s most famous game creator. At first, it just seems like an awesome sleep-over, with snacks and games. But then the real purpose of the party is revealed: The kids are invited to compete against each other in a battle of wits. They’ll be locked in the library for another day and night, and they’ll need to solve a series of riddles and puzzles in order to get out. First one to escape wins major fame!

I enjoyed every moment of this book. I’d highly recommend it for fans of The Puzzling World of Winston Breen and Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. Like those books, this is a caper where the reader can collect clues and make his/her own guesses along the way. You’ll also like this book if you enjoyed The Candymakers or Floors, which are also about kids exploring fantastical, wacky buildings.

And even though the characters aren’t in danger here, there’s enough suspense and double-crossing to keep you turning the pages as fast as you possibly can. (The day I started this book, I had to ride the subway for two hours, and the trip flew by because I was so absorbed in this book!)

If you’ve read this book, leave me a comment and let me know. Or just tell me YOUR answer to this question (if you can figure out what the question is!):



— Karen

(Hint: What follows is Karen’s answer to her question.) Yes, Karen would!

More about Karen »

9 Responses

  • Ellie writes:
    May 28th, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I read that book! I loved it so much! What was your favorite part Karen? Mine was definitely when Charles got kicked out. That was hillarious!

    • Karen from Kidsmomo writes:
      May 28th, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      It definitely was a great moment when Charles got his just desserts! I think my favorite part was when Mr. Lemoncello got involved at the end. His sense of humor and wonderment was a fun surprise. Also, I loved all the book references throughout the story. For example:

      “Did Joey Pigza lose control? Was Ella enchanted?
      “Just say yes…”

      • Ellie writes:
        May 30th, 2015 at 10:03 am

        Oh, and by the way, I figured out your little code thing. It’s “Wood ewe join the race in Mr. Lemoncello’s library?” Is that correct?

  • Ella Helmi writes:
    April 25th, 2016 at 8:25 am

    great ellie! so cool

  • Andrea writes:
    September 20th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Hi, Karen!
    Yes, I loved the book, and my kids loved it, too; I’m a children’s librarian. I’m putting together a Chris Grabenstein display, and I’d like to include the rebus puzzle you created in the case for the kids to decipher. Could you give me permission to do so? (I’ve already got a couple of program kits from Random House that I’m planning to run this fall, but I’d like to warm them up with a passive rebus puzzle display first.) Many thanks!

    • Karen from Kidsmomo writes:
      September 20th, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Yes, absolutely! Please feel free to use our rebus puzzle. Thanks so much for reaching out! And if you’re interested, we’d be happy to mail you Kidsmomo bookmarks for all your students too. Just send us a message through our contact form with your school’s mailing address:

  • Robin writes:
    October 8th, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Wood ewe join the race in Mr. Lemoncelli’s Library

  • rsfalcon writes:
    May 15th, 2022 at 10:08 am


  • falcon writes:
    May 15th, 2022 at 10:12 am

    Wood ewe join the race in mr lemoncellos library

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