Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-The Baudelaire children are sent to live with yet another relative by their well-meaning but befuddled guardian, Mr. Poe, in the sixth adventure in the series by Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, 2001). At first, they seem to have hit the jackpot, landing in a penthouse apartment owned by Esme and Jerome Squalor that contains too many rooms to count. However, they soon discover that their new caretakers are ruled by the whims of society, and they are forced to drink, dress, and act according to the "in" crowd's wishes. They are even required to climb a ridiculous number of stairs to get to the apartment each day because elevators are "out." The children are worried about their missing friends, the Quagmire triplets who were kidnapped by Count Olaf in the last book and, of course, their conviction that Count Olaf is hiding somewhere in the building just waiting to steal the Baudelaire fortune. Tim Curry narrates this adventure with a sly, sneering voice that captures the action perfectly. He is especially good when portraying Esme's snobbish tones and Jerome's hearty, jovial voice. Libraries with a strong Lemony Snicket following will want to purchase this audiobook.-Katherine Devine, Westminster Academy, Elizabeth, NJ(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Gr. 3-6. The Ersatz Elevator, "Book the Sixth," in A Series of Unfortunate Events, opens with the hapless Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, climbing up very dark stairs to the penthouse, the home of their new guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Squalor. Genial Mr. Squalor seems genuinely delighted to have the children. Mrs. Squalor is a different matter: her life is ruled by "what's in" (aqueous martinis, pinstripe suits, and orphans) and "what's out" (alcoholic martinis, light, and elevators). Mr. Squalor's life is ruled by Mrs. Squalor. Children will enjoy the humorous barbs aimed at Mrs. Squalor and her ilk. The plot thickens with the reappearance of the nefarious Count Olaf, first in disguise to do his dastardly deeds and then unmasked to sneer at the Baudelaires. "Book the Seventh," The Vile Village, pokes wicked fun at the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" and at aphorisms in general: "The quoting of an aphorism, like the angry barking or a dog or the smell of overcooked broccoli, rarely indicates that something helpful is about to happen." Sure enough, the Baudelaires are soon adopted by an entire town whose inhabitants look upon the orphans as free labor. The Baudelaires struggle to solve the riddling messages that could lead them to rescue the Quagmire triplets, while trying to avoid being burned at the stake. Series fans will enjoy the quick pace, entertaining authorial asides, and over-the-top characterizations, and Brett Helquist's droll pencil drawings will add to their reading pleasure. --Carolyn Phelan
Horn Book Review
Now ensconced in a penthouse with status-seeking guardians, the Baudelaire orphans fret about their friends (the missing Quagmire triplets) and enemies (the always-lurking Count Olaf). This installment also features an intriguing hint that the series' dedicatee, the ill-fated Beatrice, plays a role in the orphans' fate, though the plot devices and narrative voice remain unvaried from the previous five volumes in the series. From HORN BOOK Fall 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.