Wait a second. The Crossroads? Why is this post titled "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" yet The Crossroads cover is here?
I loved reading The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein. What a spooky story! I recommend it every year to all my sixth grade readers (and other readers I happen to see in the library).
Zack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father's hometown in Connecticut, not knowing that their new house has dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took forty innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn't over, and Zack is directly in his sights. -from the website of Chris Grabenstein
Sounds awesome, right?
So when I saw that the author had a new book, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library, what else could I do but pick it up and read it?
Can twelve 12-year-olds escape from the most ridiculously brilliant library ever created?
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library plunks a dozen sixth-graders into the middle of a futuristic library for a night of nonstop fun and adventure.
In a nod to Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this fast-paced new novel features an eccentric billionaire who welcomes a group of children into a fantasy setting full of weird, wondrous touches.
Kyle is a game fan--board games, word games, and especially video games! Kyle's hero, the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello, is the genius behind the design of the town's new public library, which contains not only books, but an IMAX theater, an electronic learning center, instructional holograms, interactive dioramas and electromagnetic hover ladders that float patrons up to the books they want.
Lucky Kyle wins a spot as one of the first twelve kids invited to a gala, overnight library lock-in filled with fun and games. But the next morning, when the lock-in is supposed to be over, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the others must follow book-related clues and unravel all sorts of secret puzzles to find the hidden escape route if they want to win Mr. Lemoncello's most fabulous prize ever. -from the website of Chris Grabenstein
This book is great fun! I enjoyed playing the game with Kyle. Alas, I am a horrible game player and Kyle had it figured out before I did. (I did better at The Westing Game!) Which makes me even sadder to say that there is another game afoot! In the ending pages of the book, the author lets readers know there is one puzzle that is in the book but not in the story. Readers who can find and solve the bonus riddle will have a chance to win an exciting prize.
Will I really be sharing this new book with my students? Yo! Yes! But for now I will simply go for a quiet walk in my secret garden to look for snozzcumbers and contemplate what book I should start next. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half of my life is reading books!
Click HERE to view the BOOK TRAILER for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.
P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!
P.P.S. Did you catch what I did there at the end? Those allusions? That's another reason why you'll love reading about Mr. Lemoncello's library. See how many you can find in this book!