Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Riddles, codes, mysteries, and puzzles: my family can’t get enough of them. We will happily spend an afternoon thinking through a particularly difficult brain twister until we’ve sussed out all possible answers. Example: What has teeth but never chews? (Answers at the bottom.) It was as if Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (and the rest of the trilogy) by Chris Grabenstein was written just for us.

Twelve-year-old Kyle Keeley loves games. He’s great at board games and video games, he’s masted the art of the rebus, and he can figure out codes in his head. His favorite games are any game made by Mr. Luigi Lemoncello’s Imagination Factory. When Kyle learns that his hero, Mr. Lemoncello, is building a new library right in Kyle’s own city, well, life couldn’t get better. Until it does. After Mr. Lemoncello announces that there will be a contest to win an overnight stay at the library, Kyle knows he MUST win that contest. When the library lock-in becomes something so much more, Kyle and his friends race the clock to unravel Mr. Lemoncello’s mystery.

Okay, everyone. I adored this book. Not only was it chock full of puzzlers, it also met all my “mom” guidelines of promoting friendship, forgiveness, cooperation, and (mostly) clean humor. Recommended for ages 8-12, or anyone who loves a good puzzle. The rest of the series gets two thumbs up as well, but this first one is my favorite.

Possible answers to riddle above: A comb or a saw. Can you think of other answers?