- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleFor 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)