A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Like previous books in the series, Mr.Lemoncello and the Titanium Ticket is all about learning -- and thinking--being fun. Also a lot of empathy along the way. There are lots of in-jokes, quotes, and literary references (including numerous homages to Willy Wonka) along the way, and also lots of brain-teasing puzzles for the contestants to solve.
"The future belongs to the puzzle solvers." As we've come to expect from the Lemoncello series, strong messages of collaboration, teamwork, fair play, friendship, clever problem-solving -- and lots of fun. Also, discovering your talents and finding good ways to use them.
Positive Role Models
Downtrodden but brilliant Simon, befriended (for the first time in his life) by classmate Soraiya, discovers unexpected character strengths, problem-solving capabilities, the joys of teamwork -- and also the legacy of his late parents, whose positive, upbeat influence is strong. Soraiya, besides being a good friend, is an insanely good gamer. Strangely in control of it all is Mr. Lemoncello himself, whose zany ways come from a clever brain, a kind heart, and a sense of fun. Kyle, Akimi, and other recurring characters from the series play supporting -- and supportive --roles, especially for Simon and Soraiya. As elsewhere in the series, cheaters and mean kids may get a short-term win, but their comeuppance is not far behind.
Violence & Scariness
A kid's parents have been dead for many years -- and, according to the kid's embittered grandfather, Mr. Lemoncello caused their deaths. (The reality is a bit different.) A bullying kid is obsessed with shooting games and uses trickery to cause his opponents minor injuries that take them out of competition.
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The bullying kid and his bullying dad refer to people they don't like as "I-D-ten-T"-- idiot. Occasional mentions of butts, toilets, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mr. Lemoncello and the Titanium Ticket is, as the title suggests, both an homage to Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an energetic effort to outdo it. This fifth installment in Chris Grabenstein's Mr. Lemoncello's Library series finds contestants facing many challenges, puzzles, riddles, and competitions in a top-secret game factory, competing for an unimaginably fabulous prize. Once again, kindness, teamwork, empathy, and fun carry the day, but not before some bully and his mean cheating ways add difficulties to the path. A character's parents died long ago in a plane crash, and his grandfather blames Mr. Lemoncello for the tragedy. Old-school board games by Parker Bros., Hasbro, and Milton Bradley are part of the scenery.
Is It Any Good?
This series installment has wildly imaginative fun throughout, friendships forged, puzzles solved, bullies foiled, and plots twisted in a frenzied (but strategic) race for the best prize ever. Inspired rather than intimidated by Roald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Lemoncello and the Titanium Ticket takes the contest and factory tour to entirely new places, and it's a fun, satisfying, brain-teasing ride.
"'Are you really certain you wish to go through with this, sir?' said Dr. Zinchenko. 'The titanium ticket seems so dramatic. So Willy Wonka-ish. So Ready Player One.'
"'As it should, Yanina. Are our Ohio friends in the air?'
"'Yes, sir. The banana jet left Alexandriaville an hour ago. Kyle, Akimi, Andrew and Haley are on their way.'
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Our Editors Recommend
Kids' Puzzle Games
Apps and Websites with Lots of Problem-Solving
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