May 2015


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Chris Grabenstein

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 of 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.

Several years ago, Chris made his first of many Author Visits to one of his favorite schools: P.S. 10 in Brooklyn, New York. The librarian, Ms. Macrina (pictured with Chris) told him how the school's marvelous library had been donated by a very generous benefactor.

That sent the chipmunks spinning on the treadmills in Chris' mind. "What if a very generous and eccentric benefactor donated the world's most amazing library to the small Ohio town where he grew up?" Years later that little idea has become Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library!


  1. Download the complete list of books and periodicals listed in Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library. How many have you read? Visit your local library to check out some of these classic books.

  2. After you finish reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, you can invite Chris Gaberstein to your classroom or local library to discuss the book via Skype. He loves making virtual visits with his readers and parents, teachers or librarian just shoot Chris an e-mail to make arrangements. It's fee free, too!

  3. Now you can host a Lemoncello-style Scavenger Hunt in YOUR library. Working with Children's Services librarians from the Carroll County Public Library in Finksburg, Maryland, Chris has created Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Escape Game for libraries everywhere!