Can the hometown champions defeat teams from around the country in a new contest at Mr. Lemoncello’s fantastic library?
Responding to millions of requests, the visionary library-builder organizes a new competition, a “duodecimalthon” of 12 library-related games. The action in this engaging sequel begins slowly with a stage-setting introduction of the characters and the incredible library in Alexandria, Ohio, for readers who didn't devour Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (2013). But once the contestants have gathered and the Olympics-styled games begin, puns, puzzles, and book references come thick and fast. Suspense builds: Mr. Lemoncello's dream is in danger, and Kyle Keeley and his eighth-grade teammates have formidable rivals. This celebration of libraries, librarians, books, and the right to read doesn't quite have the exuberance of the first, perhaps because it is so carefully constructed to make the author's point. But it has characters with encyclopedic knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System and popular children’s books, and it has Mr. Lemoncello’s lavish costumes, inventive games, and beyond state-of-the-art technology. The plot twists and turns before the appropriately satisfying end. Grabenstein obligingly provides a long list of good books to read (mentioned in the text) and challenges readers to find the sources of the quotations from banned books embedded in the narrative.
Dewey like this? Of course, and so will upper-elementary and middle school readers and gamers alike. (Fiction. 9-14)