Once again we enter into another book in the unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire orphans. And again the children are left with a caretaker that just doesn't seem to care for children. It makes you wonder just how do these kids survive. I can tell you that it is Violet's inventing skills, Klaus' research skills and Sunny's bithing skills help them survive this book. However, in this book, the Baudelaire orphans get help from another group of orphans, the Quagmire triplets, Duncan and Isadora. Yes I'm aware that that's only 2 names, it seems unfortunate events also follow the Quagmire orphans. They lost their parents and their brother in a mysterious fire, not unlike the Baudelaire orphans.
Now at first you may think the orphans becoming friends is a good thing. The problem is that is the only good thing that happens to the Baudelaire orphans in this book. From the beginning their woes abound. First the orphans are dropped of at Prufrock Prep. boarding school where vice-principal Nero is in charge and whose only interest is practicing the violin. There is no worse sound than someone that doesn't know how to play violin insisting upon doing so. V.P. Nero also has some really strict rules such as; no student should be in the administrative building - if this happens the student(s) do not get silverware for their meals. If a student misses a class they get no drinking glasses and must have their beverages served in puddles on their trays. And the worst rule of all, if a student misses the nightly 6 hour violin concert they have to buy V.P. Nero a bag of candy and watch him eat it.
On top of all this the school itself is ominous. All the buildings are shaped like tombstones and the school's motto is: "Memento Mori" which means "Remember You Will Die." The Dorms all have a huge living room with a brick fireplace, a game room, and a large lending library, unfortunately the Baudelaires must have a permission slip with the signature of a parent or guardian. The parents are dead, and their guardians have either been killed or have fired them so they have to stay in shack dubbed "The Orphan Shack." This shack is infested with crabs and a tan fungus that drips from the ceilings.
So with all these unfortunate events you'd think it can't get any worse, but alas, Count Olaf appears again. He has a devious plan to capture the orphans. I will give you a hint though, he does succeed in caputuring the orphans and making off with them. You'll have to read the book to find more.
If you are a homeschooler or you have children age 9-17 these are great books. If you like to have fun reading, I can tell you I have had a blast reading these books. Now on to book 6 "The Ersatz Elevator"