If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire arc intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don't. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.
Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.
It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night's sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book.
With all due respect,
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 ...
If you liked The Austere Academy, try these:
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'In poetic prose, Stewart and Riddell invent the magical realm that culminates at the Edge. The narrative will cast a spell over readers from the beginning with its utterly odd, off-kilter sense of logic and a vocabulary that is equal parts Dr. Seuss and Lewis Carroll'. Ages 10+.
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