The Austere Academy: Book the Fifth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

The Austere Academy: Book the Fifth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

4.5 355
by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist, Michael Kupperman
     
 

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As the three Baudelaire orphans warily approach their new home Prufrock Preparatory School : they can't help but notice the enormous stone arch bearing the school's motto Memento Mori or "Remember you will die." This is not a cheerful greeting and certainly marks an inauspicious beginning to a very bleak story just as we have come to expect from Lemony

Overview

As the three Baudelaire orphans warily approach their new home Prufrock Preparatory School : they can't help but notice the enormous stone arch bearing the school's motto Memento Mori or "Remember you will die." This is not a cheerful greeting and certainly marks an inauspicious beginning to a very bleak story just as we have come to expect from Lemony Snickett's Series of Unfortunate Events, the deliciously morbid set of books that began with The Bad Beginning and only got worse.

Ages 10+

Editorial Reviews

barnesandnoble.com
For the calamitous Baudelaire orphans, bad luck is the only luck they know. And fortunately for young readers, a mysterious writer named Lemony Snicket is determined to share with everyone just how bad that luck can be. New perils lurk in The Austere Academy, the fifth book in the collection known as A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Since they've already gone through several potential caregivers with disastrous results, Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny are now being sent to the Prufrock Preparatory School, where they will meet some of the most boring and tedious teachers to be found anywhere. First there's vice principal Nero, whose two loves in life are playing the violin (though he is excruciatingly bad) and mimicking what others say. Klaus's teacher, Mrs. Bass, is fixated on measuring things, while Violet's teacher, Mr. Remora, tells boring stories and then tests his students on the details. Baby Sunny, who is too young for school, is instead put to work as Nero's administrative assistant.

The teachers aren't the only problem. None of the students are very friendly, and the cottage the children are assigned to is infested with toe-pinching crabs and a drippy ceiling fungus. But the Baudelaires do manage to make two new friends: the Quagmire Triplets, fellow orphans who are actually only twins at this point since one of the siblings died. Of course, life for the Baudelaires wouldn't be complete without the devious machinations of Count Olaf, who shows up disguised as a gym teacher. His scheme this time, which involves a rigorous workout called S.O.R.E., is far subtler than his past efforts. And by the time Violet, Klaus, and Sunny figure it out, their newfound friends will be added to Olaf's list of victims.

As in prior books, there are several intriguing references to the narrator's life, including more details regarding the death of Beatrice, to whom each book thus far has been bluntly, but amusingly dedicated. These books are written for kids aged nine and up, but the sly humor leads to some adult fun as well. (Beth Amos)

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-In this fifth entry in the saga of the three Baudelaire children, the siblings are sent to a boarding school where they are tormented because they are orphans. There is the usual array of stupid/evil adults including the ridiculous Vice Principal Nero, who mimics everything that Klaus and Violet say and employs baby Sunny as his secretary because she is too young to attend class. Brown-nosing brats like Carmelita Spats make the children's lives even more miserable. The ending is a cliff-hanger as the evil Count Olaf, disguised as Coach Genghis, the new gym teacher, drives off with the orphans' only friends. In these days of Harry Potter, this book is a pesky nuisance, with little plot to drive it, situations that fall short of being interesting or off-the-wall, and cardboard characters. The author strains to be eccentric and his constant interruptions in the narrative to define a word or phrase are jarring at best.-Ann Cook, Winter Park Public Library, FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780064408639
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Series:
A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
68,199
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

A Series of Unfortunate Events #5: The Austere Academy

Chapter One

If you were going to give a gold medal to the least delightful person on Earth, you would have to give that medal to a person named Carmelita Spats, and if you didn′t give it to her, Carmelita Spats was the sort of person who would snatch it from your hands anyway. Carmelita Spats was rude, she was violent, and she was filthy, and it is really a shame that I must describe her to you, because there are enough ghastly and distressing things in this story without even mentioning such an unpleasant person.

It is the Baudelaire orphans, thank goodness, who are the heroes of this story, not the dreadful Carmelita Spats, and if you wanted to give a gold medal to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, it would be for survival in the face of adversity. Adversity is a word which here means "trouble," and there are very few people in this world who have had the sort of troubling adversity that follows these three children wherever they go. Their trouble began one day when they were relaxing at the beach and received the distressing news that their parents had been killed in a terrible fire, and so were sent to live with a distant relative named Count Olaf.

If you were going to give a gold medal to Count Olaf, you would have to lock it up someplace before the awarding ceremony, because Count Olaf was such a greedy and evil man that he would try to steal it beforehand. The Baudelaire orphans did not have a gold medal, but they did have an enormous fortune that their parents had left them, and it was that fortune Count Olaf tried to snatch. The three siblings survived living with Count Olaf, but just barely, and since then Olaf had followed them everywhere, usually accompanied by one or more of his sinister and ugly associates. No matter who was caring for the Baudelaires, Count Olaf was always right behind them, performing such dastardly deeds that I can scarcely list them all: kidnapping, murder, nasty phone calls, disguises, poison, hypnosis, and atrocious cooking are just some of the adversities the Baudelaire orphans survived at his hands. Even worse, Count Olaf had a bad habit of avoiding capture, so he was always sure to turn up again. It is truly awful that this keeps happening, but that is how the story goes.

I only tell you that the story goes this way because you are about to become acquainted with rude, violent, filthy Carmelita Spats, and if you can′t stand reading about her, you had best put this book down and read something else, because it only gets worse from here. Before too long, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire will have so much adversity that being shoved aside by Carmelita Spats will look like a trip to the ice cream store.

"Get out of my way, you cakesniffers!" said a rude, violent, and filthy little girl, shoving the Baudelaire orphans aside as she dashed by. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny were too startled to answer. They were standing on a sidewalk made of bricks, which must have been very old because there was a great deal of dark moss oozing out from in between them. Surrounding the sidewalk was a vast brown lawn that looked like it had never been watered, and on the lawn were hundreds of children running in various directions. Occasionally someone would slip and fall to the ground, only to get back up and keep running. It looked exhausting and pointless, two things that should be avoided at all costs, but the Baudelaire orphans barely glanced at the other children, keeping their eyes on the mossy bricks below them.

Shyness is a curious thing, because, like quicksand, it can strike people at any time, and also, like quicksand, it usually makes its victims look down. This was to be the Baudelaires′ first day at Prufrock Preparatory School, and all three siblings found that they would rather look at the oozing moss than at anything else.

"Have you dropped something?" Mr. Poe asked, coughing into a white handkerchief. One place the Baudelaires certainly didn′t want to look was at Mr. Poe, who was walking closely behind them. Mr. Poe was a banker who had been placed in charge of the Baudelaires′ affairs following the terrible fire, and this had turned out to be a lousy idea. Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Baudelaires out of danger. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny had long ago learned that the only thing they could count on from Mr. Poe was that he was always coughing.

"No," Violet replied, "we haven′t dropped anything." Violet was the oldest Baudelaire, and usually she was not shy at all. Violet liked to invent things, and one could often find her thinking hard about her latest invention, with her hair tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes. When her inventions were done, she liked to show them to people she knew, who were usually very impressed with her skill. Right now, as she looked down at the mossy bricks, she thought of a machine she could build that could keep moss from growing on the sidewalk, but she felt too nervous to talk about it. What if none of the teachers, children, or administrative staff were interested in her inventions?

As if he were reading her thoughts, Klaus put a hand on Violet′s shoulder, and she smiled at him. Klaus had known for all twelve of his years that his older sister found a hand on her shoulder comforting′as long as the hand was attached to an arm, of course. Normally Klaus would have said something comforting as well, but he was feeling as shy as his sister. Most of the time, Klaus could be found doing what he liked to do best, which was reading.

Copyright C 2000 Lemony Snicket

A Series of Unfortunate Events #5: The Austere Academy. Copyright © by Lemony Snicket. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Michael Kupperman has done many illustrations for such publications as Fortune, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He frequently writes scripts for DC Comics. This is his first book.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1970
Place of Birth:
Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
Education:
Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Website:
http://www.lemonysnicket.com

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Austere Academy 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 355 reviews.
PS77 More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately for the Baudelaire orphans, bad luck is the only luck they know. Unlike the Baudelaire orphans, we are lucky enough to have a mysterious writer named Lemony Snicket share with everyone just how bad that luck can get. New troubles are waiting for the orphans in The Austere Academy, the fifth book in the collection known as The Series of Unfortunate Events. This book is a one of my favorites because of all of the riveting adventures the orphans face. If you are looking for a book spending a lovely time at boarding school, I would suggest putting the back on the shelf and look elsewhere. Seeing as how they've already gone through several foster homes with calamitous results, Violet, Klaus, and the baby, Sunny, are being sent to Prufrock Preparatory school. There they meet some of ho-hum teachers that can be found anywhere. Let's start with Vice Principal Nero, who loves playing the violin (even though he is horribly bad) and imitating what others say. Next we'll talk about Mrs. Bass, Klaus's teacher. She is obsessed on measuring things, unlike violet's teacher, Mr. Remora, who tells irksome stories then tests his class on the details. Since Sunny is too young for school, Vice Principal Nero appointed her as his administrative assistant. I recommend this book for children of the ages 12+. When I started reading the series, I was at the age of 12 and I couldn't stop reading them. Each book leaves you seeking what will happen next and earning for more adventure. In this book, teachers aren't the only problem. None of the students were very welcoming. The Baudelaire orphans were sent to a toe-pinching crab and dripping ceiling fungus infested cottage. The Baudelaires manage to make two new friends: the Quagmire Triplets, fellow orphans, except there were only two of them because one of the siblings died. Of course the Baudelaire's life wouldn't be complete without the shifty Count Olaf, who is always trying to get the Baudelaire fortune. When I started reading this book, I was lost in the book's thrilling plot. Then I started to see foreshadowing through out it. This became very suspenseful and I earned for more. I enjoyed reading the books throughout the series, but this one is by far my favorite. I really loved this book from cover to cover. Some of my favorite things about this book are the Quagmire twins and how they all of a sudden were gone. When the brilliant Baudelaire children figured out Count Olaf's scheme to get the Baudelaire fortune, I was relieved that everything went okay with the twins. I also liked how witty the children were. I really loved this book. If I was a critic, I would give this book five stars in a heartbeat and two thumbs up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love this whole series and i here there is a fourteenth book coming out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a mysterious, unpredictable ,page turning book, then this is your book! I personally was a big fan of this book. I read the whole thing in about 2 hours! This is actually my second time reading this series, I read it back a couple years ago. Anyways, even though it is a little sad I stil think it is a must-read! Enjoy!(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so intresting but count olaf is creepy he every where and i want to find out what V.F.D mean.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite series
Hamida Newsome More than 1 year ago
Luv the books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the series.
Emma Jones More than 1 year ago
amazing series! i read all of the books an loved them. lemony snicket is a great author! of course, the book had to end sadly. great book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Klaus, Violet, and Sunny are going to a boarding school. Nero, the principal is always mimicking the children to make them annoyed. The new girl, Carmelita Spatts is always telling the Baudelaire children what to do and calls them names. They try to figure out why Count Olaf is wearing a turban to be like their gym teacher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Besr book ive ever read man GO CAKE SNIFFERS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lemony Snicket is the best ever Awsome cool fun
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need to read the series
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is so much excitement and action in this book that I never wanted to put it down. In the Austere Academy, written by Lemony Snicket, three young siblings, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, join Prufrock Preparatory School. They are on a jouney to being able to find out that they are going to be facing snapping crabs, dripping fungi, horrible violin recitals, S.O.R.E, very strict punishments, and most of all, Count Olaf's ridiculous plan. While the three siblings are attending Prufrock Preparatory School they will meet two of the three triplets, Duncan and Isadora, who become their friends and now find out about Olaf's plan. But will Duncan and Isadora help save them from Olaf? Are they willing to put their lives in jeopardy to save their friends? Do you want to know what S.O.R.E. means? Find out the answers to these questions by reading this wonderful and suspenseful book!! I liked how this book kept my attention and I recommend it to anyone over the age of ten.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book beacause of the shack, the odd motto, the mean people at school,the twins, the mean princapl Nero, count olaf with S.O.R.E., and olaf getting away with the twins and it leaves you in suspense when one of the twins says something (cant remeber but leaves you in suspense^-^)
Anonymous 8 months ago
As Carmelita would say... Count Olaf is a cakesniffer. He's horrible and I wish he would die... Gahhhh just die already Olaf! You're a freaking snowman now! Reply to me via roblox! My username: TheAbsolGaming
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 It is an exciting book The Austere Academy of Series of Unfortunate events. If you did not read the series. It is about orphans (Sunny, Violet and Klaus) parents died in a fire. The villain Count Olaf trying to get the fortune they have. In this book they are at a academy where someone unsuspecting shows up. When I saw this book I remember my brother reading me the series. My brother stopped at this book so I wanted to read it. I love this book so much so I hope you read it to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi! Plz ask me if u need advice if im not available please ask my assiatnt jaggerfastfeet!! @#Fierce
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U cant all you can do is archive them
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books are always so good!