Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

libraryolympicsby Chris Grabenstein
First sentence: “Just about every kid in America wished they could be Kyle Keeley.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Others in the series: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Content: Much like the first in the series, this one has short chapters and not much objectionable content. There are some bigger words, but Grabenstein defines them for you. It’s in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.

Ever since they won the competition to get out of Mr. Lemoncello’s library, Kyle and his friends Miguel, Sierra, and Akimi have had a certain amount of celebrity. Signing autographs, starring in commercials, the whole deal. Which, of course, has made everyone (not just Charles and Andrew, who lost the previous competition) a bit jealous. So they demand a rematch. And Mr. Lemoncello responds with the Library Olympics: kids will compete to be on regional teams which will then come to Alexandriaville to compete against the winning four.

The competitions are one part fun and one part silly and one part learning. And, of course, Charles and his mother (ugh) are up to their no-good tricks, trying to wrest control of the library from Mr. Lemoncello (in order to make it a More Respectable House of Learning) and kick him out of town. Additionally there’s a scary good (and kind of scary) competitor from Michigan, Marjory, who really knows her stuff.

It’s a bit more didactic than the last one — yes, we know: learning can be fun and censorship is bad — but I found I didn’t mind. It was fun, and filled with riddles and puzzles that will entertain kids. It’s delightful to revisit the wacky fun library again, even if we didn’t spend as much time there this time. And even though sequels aren’t often as good as the original, it was enjoyable.

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