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Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
Study Guide
Prepared by Jen Kleinknecht, Media Specialist, H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, Verona, NJ

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Vocabulary Words
Questions for Journaling or Discussion
Writing Assignments
Cross-Curricular Activities

 Downloadable version of Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics Study Guide (PDF)

Questions To Use As You Read:

Chapters 1-5

  1. Why do you think "just about every kid in America wished they could be Kyle Keeley?"
  2. What happens when kids find out what the prize was for winning the game played at Mr. Lemoncello's incredible new library in Alexandriaville, Ohio? Would you have had the same reaction? Explain.
  3. How does Charles Chiltington describe Kyle Keeley, Akimi Hughes, Miguel Fernandez, Sierra Russell, and Haley Daley on page 5?
  4. How did Charles lose? What did his dad say when he lost? Do you feel sorry for Charles? Why or why not?
  5. What is Charles' plan to get revenge on Mr. Lemoncello? Is it a good plan? Explain.
  6. What does Haley tell Kyle in chapter 3?
  7. Do you think the Electronic Learning Center sounds cool? Explain why or why not with at least two reasons or examples from the text.
  8. Look up intellectual freedom in a dictionary and write the definition.
  9. Why would a librarian be an intellectual freedom fighter?
  10. What happened to the original Alexandriaville Public Library?
  11. What does Charles post about Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library?
  12. Why don't the book lovers from across America like Kyle and his team?

Chapters 6-10

  1. What is a hover ladder? Would you like to try one? Explain.
  2. What is a trustee?
  3. What advice does Mr. Lemoncello give Mrs. Chiltington? Do you agree? Explain.
  4. What is Mr. Lemoncello's motto? Explain it in your own words.
  5. Why did Andrew get kicked out of the game?
  6. What is the Library Olympics? What is the prize? Do you think that's a good prize? Why or why not?
  7. Who is Marjory? What is she like? What does she believe?
  8. What is Marjory's message for Kyle?
  9. Why does Kyle want to quit his library team?
  10. Kyle thinks, "Every chance for victory was another chance for defeat." Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
  11. Where has Andrew been working?

Chapters 11-15

  1. What is Library Lunacy Day?
  2. Which region had the best contest in your opinion? Why?
  3. Do you think Kyle should quit his team? Why or why not?
  4. What does Charles offer to Kyle?
  5. Were you surprised when Kyle doesn't ask Andrew to replace him? Explain.
  6. What do you think is the coolest part of the Ohio and Olympia village? Why?
  7. Would you be intimidated by Marjorie Maruader? Why or why not?
  8. Why does Mr. Lemoncello hate bonfires?
  9. What do Andrew and Marjorie have in common?

Chapters 16-20

  1. Which team has the best costumes? Why? What would your costume be?
  2. What is your favorite part of the opening ceremony: the costumes, the music and fireworks, or Mr. Lemoncello's speech? Why?
  3. What are the library cards for?
  4. Do you think Kyle's team has an advantage over the other teams because they won the first Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library? Explain.
  5. Who is Mrs. Gause?
  6. How many contestants are there?
  7. Will spectators watch the event?
  8. What is the first challenge? Does it seem difficult? Explain?
  9. Who won the "Gold Medal" in the Library Cart Relay Race?
  10. Why did Kyle's team lose the first medal?
  11. Who wins the second contest and gets the "Olympian Medal?"
  12. What is Woodrow Peckelman's plan to get Mr. Lemoncello out of the library? Do you think the plan will work? Explain.

Chapters 21-25

  1. How does Mr. Lemoncello fly?
  2. What is the third challenge?
  3. Who won the "Top Gun Medal?" What was the secret to their success?
  4. What is the fourth challenge?
  5. Who wins the "Olympian Researcher Medal?" How?

Chapters 26-30

  1. What does Mrs. Chiltington want Marjorie to do? Why? Do you think Marjorie will agree to the plan? Explain.
  2. Who wins the "Libris Medal?" How?
  3. Who wins the "I Did It Medal?" How?
  4. Who wins the "Bendable Bookworm Medal?" How?
  5. Who wins the "Eating It Up Medal?" How?
  6. At the end of Chapter 29, which team is in the lead? Which team is in second place? Are you surprised by these results? Explain.
  7. Do you think Mr. Lemoncello built the library as a publicity stunt or as a way to honor Mrs. Tobin? Explain.
  8. What does Marjory have to do to earn a scholarship from the Willoughby-Chiltington Family Trust? Do you think she should do that? Explain.

Chapters 31-35

  1. According to the rebus, what is the fortress of intellectual freedom? What do you think that means?
  2. Who wins the "Rebus Medal?" How?
  3. At the end of Chapter 32, do you think Kyle's teammates should be angry with him? Why or why not?
  4. How do you think Kyle is handling the pressure of the games? Explain.
  5. What is the ninth game?
  6. What do you think had happened to the book Flora and Ulysses?

Chapters 36-40

  1. Who won the "Thank You Medal?" How?
  2. What is the score after ten of the twelve games?
  3. According to Mrs. Gause, what happened to the Alexandriaville Library years ago?
  4. Why is Mr. Lemoncello so sad at the end of Chapter 38?
  5. Would you have accepted Sierra's answer in the eleventh game? Explain.
  6. What has happened to all of the encyclopedias?

Chapters 41-45

  1. Who wins the "Yertle the Turtle Medal?"
  2. Do you think Mr. Lemoncello should call of the competition? Explain.
  3. Who do you think has been checking out all of the books? Do you think the librarian should reveal his identity? Explain.
  4. Do you think Kyle and his team will be able to find the books? Explain.
  5. What does Andres discover about his uncle and Mrs. Chiltington? Does Andrew seem disappointed? Explain.
  6. What clue does Mrs. Gause give?

Chapters 46-50

  1. How does Kyle convince the other teams to help him?
  2. Why did Marjory take Flora and Ulysses?
  3. Why did Andrew's uncle take the books about squirrels?
  4. How did Stephanie Youngerman figure out that the kids should go to Liberty Park?
  5. Where do they find a bright yellow envelope with "Clue" stamped on it?
  6. What is geocaching? Where does the geocaching clue lead them?
  7. How do the kids figure out that they need to go to the dumpster?

Chapters 51-55

  1. How do the kids open the storage locker?
  2. What "deal" does Mr. Peckleman agree to?
  3. Who is Mr. Peckleman?
  4. Why does Mr. Lemoncello choose the thirty-two contestants and Andrew to be his library trustees? Do you think this is a good idea? Explain.
  5. Does Marjory deserve to be a trustee? Why or why not?
  6. Why did Mrs. Chiltington want to remove Ohio River Pirates and Scallywags from the library?


  1. What slogan is added to statue of Mr. Lemoncello? What do you think it means?
  2. Describe what is happening at the library.
  3. Which book would you like to try as an audio-animatronic book? Why?

Determining the Meaning of Words and Phrases in a Text

Carefully read the examples below. Try to figure out the meaning of the bold words by using context clues. Then choose the best answer.

1. " I hereby proclaim the commencement of the first-ever Library Olympics! A competition that will discover, once and for all, who are this sweet land of liberty's true library champions." (p. 34)

The word commencement as it is used above means:
  1. end
  2. beginning
  3. announcement
  4. idea

2. "The bookmobiles will be at your disposal throughout the games. They will take you wherever you need to go. They are also filled with books to make your commute more enjoyable." (p. 63)

The word commute as it is used above means:
  1. travel
  2. day
  3. competition
  4. team

3. "And in Mr. Lemoncello's Marvelously Mysterious Mineshaft game, there are devious dwarves who offer you cheat cards that let you do stuff like use elf shovels even if you're not an elf. But elf shovels, you find out after it's too late, can't dig up diamonds, only gold, and you need a ton of gold plus two diamonds to win." (p. 82)

The word devious as it is used above means:
  1. short
  2. dishonest
  3. several
  4. hidden

4. "The giant dinosaur had leaves stuck between its teeth. Its breath reeked of rancid salad, smelling worse than the middle school cafeteria that time all the refrigerators stopped working on Taco Tuedsday." (p. 113)

The word rancid as it is used above means:
  1. mixed
  2. chopped
  3. rotten
  4. green

5. " A parade of costumed characters as well as stagehands carrying props will soon march from the lobby, promenade along the back wall, and exit into the Children's Room." (p. 139)

The word promenade as it is used above means:
  1. walk
  2. turn
  3. dance
  4. stop

Questions for Journaling or Discussion:

  1. Mr. Peckleman has a unique hobby: birdwatching. What are your hobbies? Why do you enjoy them?
  2. The library is arranged by the Dewey Decimal System, which assigns numbers to books based on their subjects. Do you think this is a good way for books to be arranged? Why or why not?
  3. Do you use your public library? Why or why not?
  4. Do you use your school library? Why or why not?
  5. Mr. Lemoncello's motto is "Knowledge not shared remains unknown." What is your motto? Why?
  6. Neil Gaiman said, "Google can bring you back one hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one." What does that mean?
  7. At one point in the story, Kyle thinks, "That was the problem with best friends. They knew what you were thinking even when you were pretending not to be thinking it." Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  8. According to Mr. Lemoncello, "Books did no one any good sealed up tight. Books need to have their spines cracked, their covers opened, and their pages ruffled for them to come alive." Do you agree with Mr. Lemoncello? Explain.
  9. Characters like Marjory and Mrs. Chiltington believe that libraries are all about order, control, precision, and predictability. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
  10. Why is it important to have the freedom to read?
  11. What is censorship? What is wrong with censorship?
  12. Charles uses a lot of big words. Is there such a thing as using too many big words?
  13. Who was your favorite character? Who was your least favorite character? Explain.
  14. Which character are you most similar to? Which character are you most different from? Explain.

Writing Assignments:

  1. Read or watch the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Write an essay comparing and contrasting Luigi Lemoncello and Willy Wonka. What do they have in common? How are they different?
  2. Write an essay to compare and contrast Charles Chiltington and Kyle Keeley. Some points to consider are their upbringing, their attitudes, and their values.
  3. Research banned books. Have you ever read a banned book? If so, write an argumentative essay explaining why children should have the opportunity to read that book.
  4. Research one of the following topics: geocaching, squirrels, the Dewey Decimal System, the Library of Congress, the history of video games, the library in Alexandriaville, Egypt, or any other topic that sparked your interest in this book. Report your findings in writing, on a poster, or in a Power Point or Google Slides presentation.

Cross-Curricular Activities:

  1. Learn more about how to design a paper airplane. Make your own paper airplane.
  2. Make your own board game or video game.
  3. Make your own rebus. Draw your own symbols.
  4. Design the library of your dreams. Make a map.
  5. Make a commercial advertising Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics.
  6. Write a song or a rap to teach about the Dewey Decimal System.