Kyle and 11 other 12-year-olds are the lucky winners of an essay contest. Their prize is to be the first visitors to the best library in the world. A gift to the town from Mr. Lemoncello, the world’s most famous game maker, this Disneyworld-like library has authors come to life as holograms and high-tech features never seen before in this giant land of books. Kyle loves Mr. Lemoncello’s games, but to him, books are boring. He wasn’t even going to enter the essay contest until his friend, Akimi told him that the library has games too. Mr. Lemoncello has another surprise for the 12 kids. There’s another contest. If they can find their way out of the library within 24 hours, they will win the grand prize. The clues are hidden in books, in the titles of books, and even in the Dewey decimal system being flashed on the ceiling. There are also surprise challenges. If a contestant accepts the challenge and succeeds, he/she earns more clues to help solve the mystery. But, fail at the challenge and they’re out of there!
Kyle and his friends form a team and start to work together solving the clues. As more and more contestants drop out of the competition and as time runs out, Kyle and his team have to make some tough decisions about who to trust.
Readers who loved The Westing Game and The Gollywhopper Games and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will enjoy this book. The numerous literary references make it fun for avid readers when a title or name of favorite author pops up in the clues. For instance, one of the clues is hidden in a Sherlock Holmes story. Kyle reads the story to help solve the puzzle and ends up hooked on Holmes. He learns to love reading and that might be the best prize of all.