Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein is a very adventurous book full of riddles and puzzles and will encourage children to read many more books from their library.
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative game maker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
Reasons why my daughter loved this book:
- The author came to her school to promote his book. She got to interact with a successful author (as this book is also a movie!), and she got his autograph.
- The book is full of riddles and puzzles, which is a hobby for her.
- The book references and mentions 90 other publications, and at the end, there is a list. I know my daughter put many of these books on her to-read list.
Spiritual Thoughts: This is an excellent book for kids as it instills many values I can get behind, such as working together as a team, serving others, and the love of reading. Overall it was an enjoyable read, and the author did a great job showing different personalities in the children and allowed the readers to help solve the mystery.
One major theme of the book was unity in working as a team to solve a problem. It enforced my belief that Christians need to unite in the message of Jesus Christ. Growing up, I didn’t feel the need to defend Christianity as a whole. Instead, my focus was defending why I am Catholic as opposed to other religions of faith.
One would think the question for my children in this society would be, “Does God exist?” We are not even asking that question. It seems the consensus is that those who believe in God are bigoted and hateful. Who wants to be those two things? No one! Thus, there is no need to have a conversation about faith in God or Jesus because that belief ends in hatred. Therefore, why even entertain the idea?
Today, I no longer feel the need to discuss or debate with other Christians the differences between our denominations. I currently feel united with Christians. In our society now, we are currently back to spreading or teaching the basics of Christianity:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to the light, because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
Just like the characters in the book, we as Christians need to be a united front in the love and saving grace of Jesus. This need for unity of faith is expressed often in the bible:
Jn 10:16, “there shall be one fold and one shepherd”
Eph 4:3-6, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father”
Rom 16:17, “avoid those who create dissensions”
1 Cor 1:10, “I urge that there be no divisions among you”
Phil 2:2, “be of same mind, united in heart, thinking one thing”
1 Cor 12:13, “in one spirit we were baptized into one body”
Rom 12:5, “we, though many, are one body in Christ”
Eph 4:4, “one body, one Spirit, called to one hope”
Col 3:15, “the peace into which you were called in one body”
Jesus Himself asks for this unity many times in John 17, which is the longest prayer of Jesus in the Gospel. “The prayer of the hour of Jesus, rightly called the “priestly prayer” (cf. Jn 17), sums up the whole economy of creation and salvation. It fulfills the great petitions of the Our Father” (CCC 2758). I encourage all to read John 17. Unfortunately, there have been some whispers of another break in the Catholic faith. All Catholics should pray for the unity of the faith as this is what Jesus prayed for in John 17. Unity of all Christians, which ultimately should be the desire to unite all of humanity. The goal is to enter into the life and love of the Trinity for every single human.