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|Island of Dr. Libris|
Author: Grabenstein, Chris
A twelve-year-old boy, worried that his parents may divorce, discovers that an island in the middle of the lake where he is spending the summer is the testing grounds of the mysterious Dr. Libris, who may have invented a way to make the characters in books come alive.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 173875
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/14)
School Library Journal (-) (01/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (06/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2014 Grabenstein follows up his best-selling Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (2013) with another playful title paying homage to classic works of literature. Billy Gillfoyle is not thrilled at the prospect of spending his summer stuck at Dr. Libris’ weird lake cabin with his mom, who’s too busy finishing her dissertation to entertain him. Throw in a neighborhood bully and the potential of his parents splitting up, and Billy’s summer is off to an awful start. But when the characters in the books he reads start coming to life—from Hercules to Robin Hood to Pollyanna—Billy’s summer quickly goes from dull to adventurous, even dangerous. Grabenstein’s economical prose is perfectly suited for this novel, which teems with appeal for a variety of readers, from those who will catch all the literary references to those who enjoy a good fight scene. Readers will appreciate Billy’s cleverness in solving his ever-growing problems, as these literary characters make plenty of trouble outside the confines of their intended stories. Effortlessly readable and a whole lot of fun. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The publisher is banking on the popularity of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library—there’s a national tour and major media exposure in the works for Grabenstein’s latest. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 Gr 4–7—Billy is not thrilled to be spending the summer in a cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere. His mom and dad aren't together, and he's worried this change may be permanent. Their cabin is owned by Dr. Libris, who also owns the mysterious island in the lake. With a lack of technology, and bullies as neighbors, Billy resorts to searching for a key to open the bookcase in Dr. Libris' study. What he unlocks brings classic books to life—when he reads the books, he hears the action somehow occurring on the island. Curious, he ventures out to the island to explore and discovers the unbelievable—somehow the stories he is reading are actually happening. When he meets Hercules, Zeus, Robin Hood, Tom Sawyer, and others, he becomes embroiled in their adventures and unwittingly causes the storylines to collide. When Billy brings his neighbors, Walter, and Walter's sister, out to the island, they all face treacherous foes including the giant from Jack in the Beanstalk and a space lizard from Walter's comic book. Billy is left trying to figure out whether Dr. Libris is behind everything, whether his own mind may be the culprit, and whether or not he can use the island to help save his parents' marriage. While the plot is unique, the story feels too far-fetched to be believable, and lacks the magic of Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Random, 2013).—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 Billy is out in the boonies in a cabin that has no electronics, his dad and mom might be separating, and he hasn’t made any friends yet. Luckily, Billy is willing to dive into books as company, and he soon realizes that the mysterious library of Dr. Libris (owner of the cabin) might offer way, way more than just the printed word. Billy soon discovers that whatever he reads comes to life on an island a short rowing distance away, and he is there swept into dramatic adventures involving Hercules, Robin Hood, the Three Musketeers, and other literary characters. Along the way Billy makes a real-life friend and manages to keep his parents together, and he even fends off the money-hungry Dr. Libris, whose secret experiment on thought waves apparently set all of this into motion. Readers who don’t delve too deep may find the book’s concept quite entertaining, as Pollyanna “glad games” her way through horrifying encounters and Hercules allies himself with Robin Hood after a quick power struggle. Unfortunately, the impending divorce and Billy’s near-magical reversal of it doesn’t ring true, and the devices make his parents, who were initially flawed but earnest, flatter characters than they should be; in addition, the nefarious Dr. Libris is woefully underutilized. Even so, bookish readers will like spotting characters they recognize and may enjoy imagining which of their favorite protagonists they’d like to encounter in person. A list of sources at the end will lead curious kids to the books featuring the characters from the island, though some might be a stretch for this book’s audience. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.