A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A litany of great books and learning experiences appears here, in such a way that kids will be tickled by references they recognize and enticed to investigate quite a few they don't.
Mr. Limoncello's motto is "Knowledge Not Shared Remains Unknown." Cooperation, teamwork, fair play, kindness, and friendship are well (and often comically) rewarded, while mean kids don't fare so well.
Positive Role Models
Mr. Lemoncello is a wacky genius with a love of learning and a finely tuned sense of right and wrong. Kyle and some of his friends excel at putting their particular talents to work in the quest, and also at helping each other out. Almost all of them learn something new about themselves, each other, and their world in the course of the story.
Violence & Scariness
Aside from mentions of a video game involving plane crashes and flying squirrels that bite their victims on the butt, there's nothing to worry about here.
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Occasional references to video game characters getting bitten on the butt.
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Products & Purchases
Aside from the plentiful mention of book titles, most products mentioned are fictitious, including Mr. Lemoncello's many games. There are occasional exceptions, including Lemon Pledge, an early sponsor of his game show.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even readers as reluctant as protagonist Kyle will see libraries in a new light as they follow his adventures in Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, co-author with James Patterson of I Funny: A Middle School Story. Solving riddles, working out puzzles, and navigating the Dewey Decimal System all play a role in this fun tale, not to mention homages to everything from The Phantom Tollbooth and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to reality TV, and dozens of book references designed to delight kids who already know them and entice those who don't. Mean kids get their comeuppance; friendship, ingenuity, and teamwork are big here, as are Kyle's gaming skills. Occasional brief mentions of a video game involving crashes as well as flying -- and sometimes flaming -- squirrels that bite their victims on the butt.
Is It Any Good?
Author Chris Grabenstein spins a captivating tale that will keep kids turning the pages and often give them -- and their parents reading along -- the giggles. The kid characters will resonate with young readers, who'll probably get plenty of ideas for new books and other interesting info to check out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.