Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

BOOK: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
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The Crossroads
Winner of the Agatha Award and the Anthony Award

The Hanging Hill
Winner of the Agatha Award

The Smoky Corridor

The Black Heart Crypt
Winner of the Agatha Award

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2013 by Chris Grabenstein
Jacket art copyright © 2013 by Gilbert Ford

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Grabenstein, Chris.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library / Chris Grabenstein. — 1st ed.
pages cm.
Summary: “Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.” —Provided by publisher.
eISBN: 978-0-307-97496-9
[1. Libraries—Fiction. 2. Books and reading—Fiction. 3. Games—Fiction.]
I. Title. II. Title: Escape from Mister Lemoncello’s library.
PZ7.G7487Es 2013 [Fic]—dc23 2012048122

Random House Children’s Books supports
the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.


For the late Jeanette P. Myers,
and all the other librarians who help us find
whatever we’re looking for


This is how Kyle Keeley got grounded for a week.

First he took a shortcut through his mother’s favorite rosebush.

Yes, the thorns hurt, but having crashed through the brambles and trampled a few petunias, he had a five-second jump on his oldest brother, Mike.

Both Kyle and his big brother knew exactly where to find what they needed to win the game: inside the house!

Kyle had already found the pinecone to complete his “outdoors” round. And he was pretty sure Mike had snagged his “yellow flower.” Hey, it was June. Dandelions were everywhere.

“Give it up, Kyle!” shouted Mike as the brothers dashed up the driveway. “You don’t stand a chance.”

Mike zoomed past Kyle and headed for the front door, wiping out Kyle’s temporary lead.

Of course he did

Seventeen-year-old Mike Keeley was a total jock, a high school superstar. Football, basketball, baseball. If it had a ball, Mike Keeley was good at it.

Kyle, who was twelve, wasn’t the star of anything.

Kyle’s other brother, Curtis, who was fifteen, was still trapped over in the neighbor’s yard, dealing with their dog. Curtis was the smartest Keeley. But for
“outdoors” round, he had pulled the always unfortunate Your Neighbor’s Dog’s Toy card. Any “dog” card was basically the same as a Lose a Turn.

As for why the three Keeley brothers were running around their neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon like crazed lunatics, grabbing all sorts of wacky stuff, well, it was their mother’s fault.

She was the one who had suggested, “If you boys are bored, play a board game!”

So Kyle had gone down into the basement and dug up one of his all-time favorites: Mr. Lemoncello’s Indoor-Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. It had been a huge hit for Mr. Lemoncello, the master game maker. Kyle and his brothers had played it so much when they were younger, Mrs. Keeley wrote to Mr. Lemoncello’s company for a refresher pack of clue cards. The new cards listed all sorts of different bizarro stuff you needed to find, like “an adult’s droopy underpants,” “one dirty dish,” and “a rotten banana peel.”

(At the end of the game, the losers had to put everything back exactly where the items had been found. It was an official rule, printed inside the top of the box, and made winning the game that much more important!)

While Curtis was stranded next door, trying to talk the neighbor’s Doberman, Twinky, out of his favorite tug toy, Kyle and Mike were both searching for the same two items, because for the final round, all the players were given the same Riddle Card.

That day’s riddle, even though it was a card Kyle had never seen before, had been extra easy.


. The answer was a quarter and a nickel because the riddle said only
of them couldn’t be a nickel.

So to win, Kyle had to find a 1982 quarter
a 1982 nickel.

Also easy.

Their dad kept an apple cider jug filled with loose change down in his basement workshop.

That’s why Kyle and Mike were racing to get there first.

Mike bolted through the front door.

Kyle grinned.

He loved playing games against his big brothers. As the youngest, it was just about the only chance he ever got to beat them fair and square. Board games leveled the playing field. You needed a good roll of the dice, a lucky draw of
the cards, and some smarts, but if things went your way and you gave it your all, anyone could win.

Especially today, since Mike had blown his lead by choosing the standard route down to the basement. He’d go through the front door, tear to the back of the house, bound down the steps, and then run to their dad’s workshop.

Kyle, on the other hand, would take a shortcut.

He hopped over a couple of boxy shrubs and kicked open the low-to-the-ground casement window. He heard something crackle when his tennis shoe hit the window-pane, but he couldn’t worry about it. He had to beat his big brother.

He crawled through the narrow opening, dropped to the floor, and scrabbled over to the workbench, where he found the jug, dumped out the coins, and started sifting through the sea of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.


Kyle quickly uncovered a 1982 nickel. He tucked it into his shirt pocket and sent pennies, nickels, and dimes skidding across the floor as he concentrated on quarters. 2010. 2003. 1986.

“Come on, come on,” he muttered.

The workshop door swung open.

“What the …?” Mike was surprised to see that Kyle had beaten him to the coin jar.

Mike fell to his knees and started searching for his own
coins just as Kyle shouted, “Got it!” and plucked a 1982 quarter out of the pile.

“What about the nickel?” demanded Mike.

Kyle pulled it out of his shirt pocket.

“You went through the window?” said a voice from outside.

It was Curtis. Kneeling in the flower beds.

“Yeah,” said Kyle.

“I was going to do that. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”

“I can’t believe you won!” moaned Mike, who wasn’t used to losing

“Well,” said Kyle, standing up and strutting a little, “believe it, brother. Because now you two
have to put all the junk back.”

“I am
taking this back to Twinky!” said Curtis. He held up a very slimy, knotted rope.

“Oh, yes you are,” said Kyle. “Because you
. Oh sure, you
about using the window.…”

“Um, Kyle?” mumbled Curtis. “You might want to shut up.…”

“What? C’mon, Curtis. Don’t be such a sore loser. Just because I was the one who took the shortcut and kicked open the window and—”

“You did this, Kyle?”

A new face appeared in the window.

Their dad’s.

“Heh, heh, heh,” chuckled Mike behind Kyle.

“You broke the glass?” Their father sounded ticked off. “Well, guess who’s going to pay to have this window replaced.”

BOOK: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
12.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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