Two Book Reviews
Books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library, and it appears that someone is trying to censor what the kids can read! Will Luigi Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries?
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein is an easy, enjoyable read for upper elementary school readers (grades 4 – 8). The sequel to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a rematch, so to speak. The competition involves puzzles, book references, and pop culture shout-outs. Teamwork, cooperation, and recognizing each other’s strengths are all clear messages for the reader. In this story, some of the adults are the villains who want to ban some books they don’t like. A delightful, fun, action-packed book for readers who love to solve puzzles and mysteries!
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum is about loss, love, getting stuck, and struggling to break through. Her main character, Jessie Holmes, is grieving for her mother and can’t understand her dad’s sudden marriage to Rachel, a wealthy widow, or their move from Chicago to Los Angeles. Homesick and lonely, Jessie’s first week at an elite private school is simply agonizing. Rachel’s son ignores her and some pretty girls turn out to be bullies. Throughout the story, Jessie receives and sends instant messages to SN (Somebody/Nobody), and readers will want to keep reading to discover his identity. Jessie develops a crush on her project partner Ethan. Then, Jessie and her dad stop talking. Rachel buys her a ticket to spend a weekend in Chicago with her old friends, but things are not the same there either. Jessie begins to feel like she doesn’t really belong anywhere. This story is a perceptive teen romance about coming to terms with irrevocable loss, and accepting the challenges and difficulties life presents to people of all ages. Jessie and the readers of this novel will come to terms with the idea that life itself means inevitable change. A good book for high schoolers – a story about blended families that may possibly resonate with some readers.