Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race

January 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, )

raceMr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein


Some books are just straight-up fun to read. They’re not deep or thoughtful, but the tone, characters, and plots of those books keep your attention and keep you smiling as you read. The Mr. Lemoncello books are some of those fun reads.

Grabenstein has done a good job of making the focus of each book slightly different. Each book has involved a library competition, but while the first one stuck to that formula alone, the other two have deviated from that formula to be about something else, too. Here, the central conflict is Mr. Lemoncello against a rival game company who is out to steal his ideas and tarnish his name. In a world where “Fake news!” is bandied about like it’s the new soundbite, it’s helpful to see a book written for kids that addresses how harmful it can be.

This is a juvenile book, so I’m willing to cut it some slack, but there were aspects of the story that didn’t sit well with me. The antagonists were too broadly drawn, and too stereotypical to take that seriously. They were also incredibly stupid, not just as characters, but as characteristics of the plot, too. The final confrontation didn’t take much time, and even if it made sense for them to be hoisted on their own petard, it was awfully convenient for them to confess to their crimes so suddenly and easily.

Regardless, Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race is a fun read, and anyone who enjoyed the first two books would enjoy this one, too. The characters (who are diverse!) are easy to relate to, the puzzles are entertaining, and the whole book just feels fun. I imagine the Lemoncello train will keep on rolling, and I suppose I’ll keep hitching rides whenever it checks into the station.

Started: November 8, 2017
Finished: November 10, 2017

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