Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Order of Operations, and Rebus Puzzles

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Do you have young game board, puzzle, or library lovers in your life?  How about fans of Roald Dah's book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory?  If so, this book will be a welcome addition to your library.   With its intricate plot, slueth-y riddles, and wacky descriptions, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library  by Chris Grabenstein has become a fast favorite with my kids.  The words in this book leap off the page with riddles, clues, humor, and suspense and will have readers and listeners hanging by the edge of their seats, watching the clock, and cheering their favorite characters to victory! 

12-year-old Kyle Keeley is a fun-loving popular kid at his school.  The year he was born, the library burned down and Kyle and all his classmates have lived their whole lives without a town library.  To celebrate the library's grand opening, the weirdly wonderful Mr. Lemoncello (Game Board maker and library creator) is ready to party!  He has invited all the 12-year-olds in town to write an essay about the library grand opening.  The essay winners will get an exclusive invitation to the grand opening party!   When Kyle Keeley, along with 11 other kids, are invited to the grand opening, it is just as phenomenal as they expected:  Robot librarians, historic holograms, and an electronic learning center are just a few of the library treats.  But, the best part?  The fun is only just beginning!  The biggest surprise of all is revealed at the end of the party:  The party is not over!  This party is not just a party but a reality game show, and the kids need to race the clock and outwit the puzzles to escape from The Lemoncello Library!  The contestants must be book-saavy, dewey-decimal-experts to solve the puzzle before the 11am deadline.  Who will win? Will it be Kyle Keeley?  Will it be the ruthless Charles Chiltington?   Or the most popular cheerleader Hayley?  Readers will delight in solving the puzzles right along with the contestants.  

This book, with all its logic, riddles, and puzzles is an ideal one for combining math and literacy.  I loved reading this book aloud to my group of students.  Mr. Lemoncello uses a unique puzzle called "Rebus Puzzles" and the characters in the book partner together in order to solve the puzzles.  I printed off the pages in the book with the puzzles and had groups of students try to solve them before they heard the answer being read from the book.  This is a great way to encourage interaction.    If you'd like to explore more about Rebus Puzzles, try this site and this one. I even stumbled across a really cool Rebus Generator that will take your phrases and make a rebus puzzle out of it.  Genius!  You can use the generator to make puzzles for your students.

My students were hooked on rebus puzzles after helping the book characters solve theirs!  I put together this awesome rebus puzzle worksheet that will also teach your students the 4 different rules to The Order of Operations. This Order of Operations Worksheet with Answer Key is yours to use and share as you like.  What are the four rules when using the Order of Operations?  Solve the puzzles to find out!  Just click on the picture or link above and you can access the worksheet and the answer key.


Guess what else?  I just found out that Escape From Lemoncello's Library has a sequel due out in January 2016:  Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics.  Wahoo!  My kids are so excited!