Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics
by Chris Grabenstein, published 2016
“The hover ladders were floating platforms with handrails, book baskets, and ski-boot safety locks that allowed you to float up and retrieve any book simply by entering the book’s call number into a keypad.”
While I enjoyed the first children’s book in this series, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, I think this second book surpasses that one. In fact, there is enough repetition in the sequel that you can easily read this book first.
The reason I found this particular children’s book compelling is that it offers a very strong message about the importance of books, libraries, and freedom of press. There are a few moments where an irate mother is interested in burning some books, and the response is one of horror from the children. Lest you think sending a message about keep books free is unimportant, the author includes a list of banned children’s books at the end of this children’s book. It may make your hair stand on end!
Back to this book, I found the puzzles in the book quite easy this time, whereas I found myself struggling in the last book to make sense of them. The genre of including literary clues in a book is fun, as it adds another element in addition to reading for plot and action.
This children’s book is best enjoyed by good readers age 8 and up. It may also inspire many readers to track down some of the children’s books that appear as clues in the story. And there is no question that this is a book that every school librarian will enjoy as well. (Note that I flagged it as Waldorf aligned, because of it’s message, but do note that this book is very much set in contemporary pop media culture.)