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The penultimate peril / by Lemony Snicket ; illustrations by Brett Helquist.

By: Snicket, Lemony.
Contributor(s): Helquist, Brett.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: A series of unfortunate events. Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2005Edition: 1st ed.Description: 353 p. : ill ; 19 cm.ISBN: 0064410153; 9780062865144 (hardback).Subject(s): Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction | Premiers' Reading Challenge : 7-8 | Orphans -- Juvenile fictionDDC classification: 813.6
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Junior Sunshine Library (DIY)
Junior Fiction J SNIC Issued 16/08/2019 IA0556909
Junior Sydenham Library
Junior Fiction J SNIC Available IA2028779
Junior St Albans Library (DIY)
Junior Fiction J SNIC Issued 01/08/2019 IA2028780
Junior St Albans Library
Junior Fiction J SNIC Available IA2028782
Junior Sunshine Library (DIY)
Junior Fiction J SNIC Issued 15/08/2019 IA2028781
Junior Deer Park Library
Junior Fiction J SNIC Available IA2028778
Junior Keilor Library (DIY)
Junior Fiction J SNIC Available IA2028777
Junior Sunshine Library (DIY)
Junior Fiction J SNIC Issued 27/07/2019 IA0556896
Total reserves: 0

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril Chapter One Certain people have said that the world is like a calm pond, and that anytime a person does even the smallest thing, it is as if a stone has dropped into the pond, spreading circles of ripples further and further out, until the entire world has been changed by one tiny action. If this is true, then the book you are reading now is the perfect thing to drop into a pond. The ripples will spread across the surface of the pond and the world will change for the better, with one less dreadful story for people to read and one more secret hidden at the bottom of a pond, where most people never think of looking. The miserable tale of the Baudelaire orphans will be safe in the pond's murky depths, and you will be happier not to read the grim story I have written, but instead to gaze at the rippling scum that rises to the top of the world. The Baudelaires themselves, as they rode in the back of a taxi driven by a woman they scarcely knew, might have been happy to jump into a pond themselves, had they known what sort of story lay ahead of them as the automobile made its way among the twisting streets of the city where the orphans had once lived. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire gazed out of the windows of the car, marveling at how little the city had changed since a fire destroyed their home, took the lives of their parents, and created ripples in the Baudelaires' lives that would probably never become calm. As the taxi turned a corner, Violet saw the market where she and her siblings had shopped for ingredients to make dinner for Count Olaf, the notorious villain who had become their guardian after the fire. Even after all this time, with Olaf trying scheme after scheme to get his hands on the enormous fortune the Baudelaire parents had left behind, the market looked the same as the day Justice Strauss, a kindly neighbor and a judge in the High Court, had first taken them there. Towering over the market was an enormous, shiny building that Klaus recognized as 667 Dark Avenue, where the Baudelaires had spent some time under the care of Jerome and Esmé Squalor in an enormous penthouse apartment. It seemed to the middle Baudelaire that the building had not changed one bit since the siblings had first discovered Esmé's treacherous and romantic attachment to Count Olaf. And Sunny Baudelaire, who was still small enough that her view out the window was somewhat restricted, heard the rattle of a manhole cover as the taxi drove over it, and remembered the underground passageway she and her siblings had discovered, which led from the basement of 667 Dark Avenue to the ashen remains of their own home. Like the market and the penthouse, the mystery of this passageway had not changed, even though the Baudelaires had discovered a secret organization known as V.F.D. that the children believed had constructed many such passageways. Each mystery the Baudelaires discovered only revealed another mystery, and another, and another, and several more, and another, as if the three siblings were diving deeper and deeper into a pond, and all the while the city lay calm on the surface, unaware of all the unfortunate events in the orphans' lives. Even now, returning to the city that was once their home, the Baudelaire orphans had solved few of the mysteries overshadowing them. They didn't know where they were headed, for instance, and they scarcely knew anything about the woman driving the automobile except her name. "You must have thousands of questions, Baudelaires," said Kit Snicket, spinning the steering wheel with her white-gloved hands. Violet, who had adroit technical faculties -- a phrase which here means "a knack for inventing mechanical devices" -- admired the automobile's purring machinery as the taxi made a sharp turn through a large metal gate and proceeded down a curvy, narrow street lined with shrubbery. "I wish we had more time to talk, but it's already Tuesday. As it is you scarcely have time to eat your important brunch before getting into your concierge disguises and beginning your observations as flaneurs." "Concierge?" Violet asked. "Flaneurs?" Klaus asked. "Brunch?" Sunny asked. Kit smiled, and maneuvered the taxi through another sharp turn. Two books of poetry skittered off the passenger seat to the floor of the automobile -- The Walrus and the Carpenter, and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll, and The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot. The Baudelaires had recently received a message in code, and had used the poetry of Mr. Carroll and Mr. Eliot in order to decode the message and meet Kit Snicket on Briny Beach, and now it seemed that perhaps Kit was still talking in riddles. "A great man once said that right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. Do you understand what that means?" Violet and Sunny turned to their brother, who was the literary expert in the family. Klaus Baudelaire had read so many books he was practically a walking library, and had recently taken to writing important and interesting facts in a dark blue commonplace book. "I think so," the middle Baudelaire said. "He thinks that good people are more powerful than evil people, even if evil people appear to be winning. Is he a member of V.F.D.?" "You might say that," Kit said. "Certainly his message applies to our current situation. As you know, our organization split apart some time ago, with much bitterness on both sides." "The schism," Violet said. "Yes," Kit agreed with a sigh. "The schism. V.F.D. was once a united group of volunteers, trying to extinguish fires -- both literally and figuratively. But now there are two groups of bitter enemies. Some of us continue to extinguish fires, but others have turned to much less noble schemes... A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril . Copyright © by Lemony Snicket. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. Book the Twelfth, second to last in the fantastically popular A Series of Unfortunate Events, reunites the beleaguered Baudelaire orphans with a host of characters from previous adventures as they gather at Hotel Denouement (with rooms organized according to the Dewey decimal system) to await the delivery of--the sugar bowl. Well, fans will get the drift, despite the fact that this inventive go-round seems more dizzying and stuffed with definitions than usual. But even as the series draws to a close, new questions arise--the most important one being, are the kids valorous volunteers or villains after all? --Stephanie Zvirin Copyright 2005 Booklist

Horn Book Review

The perennially unlucky Baudelaire orphans go undercover as concierges in a hotel where copious villains and noble people (often indistinguishable from each other) are gathering. The zanily careening plot and faux-tragic narrative voice can be tiresome, but the surprise ending provides enough suspense to carry readers into the upcoming closing volume. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

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