Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein | Audiobook ReviewEscape From Mr. Lemoncello\'s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Narrator: Jesse Bernstein
Length: 6 Hours 19 Minutes
Published by Random House LLC on 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Books & Libraries, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 291
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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A New York Times Bestseller Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

I picked up Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein because the synopsis on goodreads made me think of The Westing Game which is one of those awesome books where people compete against each other for a really awesome prize provided by an eccentric billionaire. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library also has the advantage of being narrated by Jesse Bernstein who is one of the narrators of Feed which was like my third audiobook that I LOVED. Also, I always get jonseing for some fun middle grade reading and adventuring.

What’s The Story Here?

The town of Alexandria, Ohio has not had a library for about 12 years. It was torn down to make a parking garage. For the past five years though, Mr. Lemoncello, a successful gamemaker and business tycoon, has been working in conjunction with the town to construct a new library where the old bank used to be. This is the year the new library will be opened. At school, there’s a contest for the 12 year olds to be among the first group of 12 students to enter the library and win a lock-in. Kyle Keely, class clown and youngest of three boys, enters the essay contest at the very last minute when he discovers that the library has games. Y’all, Kyle loves games of all stripes. Kyle is among the chosen twelve. The students discover, after their night of fun in the library, that the doors are locked and they must find an alternate exit. The student who finds the alternate exit will be greatly rewarded JUST LIKE IN THE WESTING GAME AND CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. You guys, where are these billionaires that come up with cool challenges for children to win? I would like one in my life please.

How Is Kyle As Main Character?

Kyle Keely, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library‘s main character, is better than I was expecting. I guess because he is the youngest and really into playing games, I expected him to be super competitive and mean spirited and spoiled. However, Kyle is a great kid. He’s family oriented. He’s close with his brothers. He is respectful of his parents. He works hard and does not ever give up. If you like persistent characters, you will like Kyle. Also, he’s a team player and very inclusive of the other kids. I really, really liked his character and was all excited that the book featured someone who is pretty darn upstanding.

How Are The Other Characters?

First off, there’s a diverse cast of characters in Chris Grabenstein’s book. That’s right, there are characters of color and they are awesome and not like second fiddle but have cool characteristics and plainly are interesting. I will say that the villain kid is kind of over the top, his name is Charles and he is terrible. He’s this rich kid who manipulates and wheedles and has like one face to adults and the other to kids. He’s awful is all. As for Mr. Lemoncello, he’s totally Willy Wonka, but nice. Also, he deeply loves the library and books and games and so he is the person I want to be when I grow up. AND AND there is this awesome librarian who is tough as nails and kind of another life idol.

How Cool Is The Library?

Two words: animatronic geese.

Essentially, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a lot like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in that there’s all these neat rooms to discover. There are rules as well. It’s this sprawling magical seeming land of books and you guys I want to live inside this library. Or, any library really.

How Is The Narration?

LOL so you guys I turned this audiobook on and was like, that narrator sounds nothing like he did in Colin Fischer. Then I realized that is a different narrator. Oh, my life. Aside from my mistake, Jesse Bernstein is a passable narrator. He’s got all kinds of accents that he puts on, like for Mr. Lemoncello and Charles and Hailey Daily (I read audio so I could be spelling wrong) and for Dr. Zinchenko, a world famous librarian who helped design the library. Really, this is quite the enjoyable listen and totally kept me paying attention.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

This is exactly how this book felt for me, please someone give me puzzles and clues and riddles.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Okay, so this one actually annoyed me for reasons that are mostly unclear to me and maybe not particularly fair, but whatever my feels. HOWEVER, those gifs are so perfect and you may have all of my praise.

  2. I read Lemoncello’s Library last year and LOVED it. Such a cute story! I’ve read almost all of Grabenstein’s books and have enjoyed them all overall.

  3. I’ve been meaning to read this book since I ordered it for my library. I think I’ve checked it out before, but never got around to it. BUT, I totally just checked it out. BooYah!

  4. Is it a terrible thing that I just wanted to read this book after you made a Willy Wonka comparison? I was legitimately obsessed with Roald Dahl as a child, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was always one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure I’ll like this book, so I’m off to go and add it to my TBR!

    That cover is super fun too. I love the way it looks!


  1. […] together a list of books I want to recommend, so I try to read some new ones.  After seeing April’s review for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein, I knew it was the perfect […]