Do It Yourself Programming Ideas: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
The “Mr. Lemoncello” series of tween novels by Chris Grabenstein would make a wonderful basis for a library Do It Yourself celebration, with games and crafts inspired by the book. Since games and puzzles are a key plot point in the series, this is a natural fit for a library program. Because the novels are set in a library, this theme works well for National Library Week (in April), a tween book discussion club, or any other time of year. It is recommended that high school volunteers be recruited to cover the game and craft stations. Several of the ideas you see below were inspired by SJSU library school student Breanne Gibson, with some of my own additions.
Code and Cipher Station: Make these secret decoder wheels to be able to send secret codes – https://dabblesandbabbles.com/printable-secret-decoder-wheel/ .
Board Game Station: Set out several popular board games like “Sorry,” “Connect Four,” and “Uno.” Have a teen game “host” to get people started, add a player if there is an open seat, and facilitate game play.
Scavenger Hunt: Have a library staff member lead a library scavenger hunt, which is a great way to get people to tour the library. Here are some ideas: www.freekidscrafts.com/printable-library-scavenger-hunt/ .
Trivia Game: Use some of these questions to make a Lemoncello Trivia Game: https://quizlet.com/114029043/mr-lemoncellos-library-flash-cards/ .
Reading Journals: www.redtedart.com/make-journal-mindful-journals-kids/ .
Beaded Bookmarks: www.whatdowedoallday.com/handmade-mini-bookmarks-and-books-about-reading/ .
Design your own board game: www.activityvillage.co.uk/design-a-simple-board-game .
“Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” is a 2017 G-rated made-for-TV movie based on the book, produced by the Nickelodeon network. At only one hour and nine minutes, it will appeal to a wide audience if you are holding an event on a weekend where you have all day.
With more than 100 books mentioned in the series, it should be easy to find many of these titles in your library to serve as a display. Here is a list of the children’s novels mentioned in the first book in the series, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library: www.listchallenges.com/books-mentioned-in-escape-from-mr-lemoncellos .
Lemonade, lemon cookies or cupcakes, and other lemon treats are perfect for this program!
Penny Peck, SJSU iSchool