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When I talk to kids about my new book THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS, I torture them with a tale of electronics deprivation.
     My main character, Billy Gillfoyle, I say, is spending the summer in a cabin on a lake.  There is no cable, no TV, no DVR, no X-Box, no PlayStation 3.  There isnt even an old-fashioned VCR.
     By this point, the kids gasps become audible.
     On his first day at the cabin, I continue, Billy drops his iPhone and it shatters.  The nearest Apple store is several hundred miles away.
     Jaws drop.  The kids are practically weeping – just like my hero, Billy Gillfoyle.  He mopes around the cabin after the demise of his iPhone and ends up in this scene with his mother:
    
  Billy, what do you think kids did back before video games or TV or even electricity?
  I dont know.  Cried a lot?  He plopped down dramatically on the couch.
  No, Billy. They read books.  They made up stories and games.  They took nothing and turned it into something.
 
     And thats what happens to Billy in this book:  He learns to start using and trusting his own imagination.
     Characters from books that he reads in Dr. Libris study start coming to life out on the island in the middle of the lake.   In no time, Hercules, the monster Antaeus, Robin Hood, Maid Marian, The Three Musketeers, DArtagnan, Pollyanna, and Tom Sawyer are all bumping into each others stories.  Its up to Billy, with the help of his new friend Walter, and a bookcase filled with classic literature, to imagine a scenario that will bring all the conflicts to a tidy resolution. 
     Yep.  In THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS, Billy Gillfoyle is learning how to become a writer.  He puts his characters into situations and conflicts that will, ultimately, take him to the happy ending he, and everybody else, is looking for.
     When all seems lost, he is on the island with his new friends Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and Hercules, despairing that hes not heroic enough to rescue his asthmatic friend Walter from the clutches of the evil Space Lizard (yes, hideous creatures from video games and fairy tales eventually come to life on the island, too.) 
 
  Ho, lads and lassie! said Robin Hood.  All is not lost!  Look you, Sir William – I remember a time when Sir Guy of Gisbourne held me captive in his tower.  Did my band of merry followers let a moat or castle walls stand in their way?
  Nay! said Marian.  Little John and I didst lead the charge.  Oh, how the arrows did fly that day!
  Im not Little John, Billy said quietly.  Or you, Maid Marian.  Im not a hero.  He looked down at Walters inhaler.  Im just a kid who cant even save his own family.
  Nonsense, said Maid Marian. Each of us can choose who or what we shall be.  We write our own stories, Sir William.  We write them each and every day.
  And, added Hercules, if you write it boldly enough, others will write about you, too.
 
     In my book ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLOS LIBRARY, I wanted to make young readers excited about reading and doing research.  I tried to turn a trip to the library into an incredibly fun scavenger hunt, filled with puzzles and surprises.  (In my perpetually twelve-years-old mind, thats what doing research actually is.)
     With THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS, I am hoping to excite young readers about the power and awesomeness of their own imaginations. I want them to take nothing and turn it into something.  To take two old ideas, toss them together, and create something new.
     And, when they write their own stories, maybe some of them will decide they want to become authors, writing stories for the rest of us, too!
     
     
 

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein 0307931471 9780307931474 Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Our Price: $3.85
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Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein 0553510428 9780553510423 Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
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The Smartest Kid in the Universe by Chris Grabenstein 0525647783 9780525647782 The Smartest Kid in the Universe
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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein 037587089X 9780375870897 Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
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The Smartest Kid in the Universe by Chris Grabenstein 0525647813 9780525647812 The Smartest Kid in the Universe
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The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein 0385388454 9780385388450 The Island of Dr. Libris
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The Hanging Hill: A Haunted Mystery by Chris Grabenstein 0375846999 9780375846991 The Hanging Hill: A Haunted Mystery
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Dog Squad by Chris Grabenstein 0593301730 9780593301739 Dog Squad
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The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein 0385388446 9780385388443 The Island of Dr. Libris
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Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers by Chris Grabenstein 0062026208 9780062026200 Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers
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The Demons' Door (A Haunted Mystery) by Chris Grabenstein 1524765201 9781524765200 The Demons' Door (A Haunted Mystery)
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Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein 0553510401 9780553510409 Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
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The Crossroads (A Haunted Mystery) by Chris Grabenstein 0375846980 9780375846984 The Crossroads (A Haunted Mystery)
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Tilt a Whirl by Chris Grabenstein 0786717815 9780786717811 Tilt a Whirl
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The Crossroads: A Haunted Mystery by Chris Grabenstein 0375846972 9780375846977 The Crossroads: A Haunted Mystery
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Whack a mole by Chris Grabenstein 0786718188 9780786718184 Whack a mole
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The Hanging Hill (A Haunted Mystery) by Chris Grabenstein 0375847006 9780375847004 The Hanging Hill (A Haunted Mystery)
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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein 0375970894 9780375970894 Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
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Riley Mack Stirs Up More Trouble by Chris Grabenstein 0062026224 9780062026224 Riley Mack Stirs Up More Trouble
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Mr. Lemoncellos Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein 0399556508 9780399556500 Mr. Lemoncellos Library Olympics
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Tilt-a-Whirl by Chris Grabenstein 0786715847 9780786715848 Tilt-a-Whirl
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Quantity: 6
   
 

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