The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4)

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9780439366793: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4)
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As the Baudelaire orphans look out the grimy window of the train taking them to the Lucky Smells Lumbermill to live, they can't help but wonder what lies ahead.

For Violet, who is an inventor, perhaps there will be machines to observe. Machines that saw wood can be very interesting, even though in the wrong hands they can be the cause of ghastly accidents.

And for Klaus, who enjoys reading immensely, perhaps there will be a library. Information found in a book can be very useful. Especially if an evil doctor is lurking about.

And for Sunny, who likes nothing better than to bite things with her four sharp teeth, perhaps there will be bark to chew. It is important to keep teeth sharp when someone close by may be hiding a sword.

As the train pulls into the station, one thing is certain: The unlucky Baudelaire orphans had best keep their teeth, wits, and minds sharp, for whatever awaits them at the mill may well be the deadliest in a series of unfortunate events.

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Review:

Fans of Lemony Snicket's wonderful Series of Unfortunate Events won't be surprised to find that in the sixth installment the three Baudelaire orphans' new home proves to be something of a mixed bag. As our ever sad but helpful narrator states, "Although 'a mixed bag' sometimes refers to a plastic bag that has been stirred in a bowl, more often it is used to describe a situation that has both good parts and bad parts. An afternoon at the movie theater, for instance, would be a mixed bag if your favorite movie were showing, but if you had to eat gravel instead of popcorn. A trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all of the man-and woman-eating lions were running around loose." And so it is for the bad-luck Baudelaires. Their fancy new 71-bedroom home on 667 Dark Avenue is inhabited by Esmé Gigi Geniveve Squalor (the city's sixth most important financial advisor), and her kindly husband, Jerome, who doesn't like to argue. Esmé is obsessed by the trends du jour (orphans are "in"), and because elevators are "out," Sunny, Violet, and Klaus have to trudge up 66 flights of stairs to reach the Squalors' penthouse apartment. (Other unfortunate trends include pinstripe suits, aqueous martinis--water with a faint olive-y taste--parsley soda, and ocean decorations.)

As the book begins, the Baudelaires are not only frightened in anticipation of their next (inevitable) encounter with the evil, moneygrubbing Count Olaf but they are also mourning the disappearance of their dear new friends from The Austere Academy, the Quagmires. It doesn't take long for Olaf to show up in another of his horrific disguises... but if he is on Dark Avenue, what has he done with the Quagmires? Once again, the resourceful orphans use their unique talents (Violet's inventions, Klaus's research skills, and the infant Sunny's strong teeth) in a fruitless attempt to escape from terrible tragedy. Is there a gleam of hope for the orphans and their new friends? Most certainly not. The only thing we can really count on are more gloriously gloomy adventures in the seventh book, The Vile Village. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

From the Back Cover:

I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log. The pages of this book, I′m sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons. I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven′t, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Ages 10+

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780064407694: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0064407691 ISBN 13:  9780064407694
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2000
Hardcover

9781405266093: The Miserable Mill (Series of Unfortunate Events)

Egmont..., 2012
Softcover

9781405290678: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

EGMONT, 2018
Softcover

9780439272636: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4)

Schola..., 2001
Softcover

9780061146329: A Series of Unfortunate Events #4: The Miserable Mill: Or, Hypnotism!

Harper..., 2008
Softcover

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