Before Mr. Lemoncello became everyone’s favorite game maker, he was a kid who liked to roll the dice . . . Discover the origins of what James Patterson calls “the coolest library in the world” in this PREQUEL to the New York Times bestselling Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Go back to the START and meet thirteen-year-old, PUZZLE-obsessed Luigi Lemoncello!

Luigi has a knack for games and puzzles. But sometimes it feels like the cards are stacked against him. UNTIL a carnival arrives in town and Luigi gets the CHANCE OF A LIFETIME—the opportunity to work for the world-famous Professor Marvelmous--a dazzling, banana-hat-wearing barker who puts the SHOW in SHOWMAN! When the carnival closes, Professor Marvelmous leaves behind a mysterious puzzle box along with a clue. A clue that will lead Luigi and his friends on a fantastical treasure hunt to a prize beyond anything they could imagine--if they can find it!

Can Luigi crack the codes and unlock the box's secrets? Will there be puzzles? Of course! Balloons? You bet! Will it be fun? Hello! It’s a Lemon-cello! BONUS! Can YOU crack the hidden puzzle inside?!
Praise for the Lemoncello Series:

Nominated for 42 State Awards!

"Lots of action and quirky humor." —The Washington Post
 
* "A worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka." —Booklist, starred review
 
* "A winner for readers and game-players alike." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
* "A fun-filled, suspenseful intellectual puzzle." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
 
"Will have readers racing to pick up the next volume." —School Library Journal