White Horse Running

The 2014-2015 Great Stone Face winner is "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" by Chris Grabenstein.  I really enjoyed this mystery-at-the-library novel. Grabenstein is obviously familiar with a lot of JFic novels and used many of them in his clues. I recognized many that I had read and also added several to my own reading list.

The story revolves around a group of 12-year-olds who were selected for an overnight at the new library, in a challenge to find the clues that will help them find the way out. The prize includes games and instant stardom when the winner is featured in a reality TV show plus commercials for Mr. Lemoncello's games.

Of course, the library is not like any library I've ever seen before but more like Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. The message I got though, and hopefully that other children will get, is the importance of libraries. The children in the story grew up without a library - Mr. Lemoncello's library is their first. But with Kindles and IPads, very possibly in the not too distant future libraries will become obsolete.

I have my own fond memories when I was young of visiting my library and the bookmobile (living just outside of a major city it really was a few miles to walk to our library.) It was always a pleasant experience for me being around stacks of books where I could select a few and take them home to read. To this day, even though I have my own extensive library of used and new books, I still visit our local library where I can take out to read any number of books that I want. A wonderful service that I hope remains for generations to come.

I rate Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library 5 out of 5 stars.

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