It's tough when the things that stand between you and your desired sugar bowl are a host of deadly mushrooms and an uncomfortable diving suit. The unlucky Baudelaire orphans find themselves in deep (once again) in this eleventh book in Lemony Snicket's odd-and-full-of-woe-but-quite-funny Series of Unfortunate Events. In The Grim Grotto
, the siblings find themselves headed down Stricken Stream on a broken toboggan when they are spotted by the submarine Queequeg
, carrying Captain Widdershins, his somewhat volatile stepdaughter Fiona, and optimistic Phil from Lucky Smells Lumbermill. The adventures that follow as the crew tries to get to the aforementioned sugar bowl before Count Olaf are so horrible that the narrator inserts factual information about the water cycle so that readers will get bored and stop reading the book. It doesn't work. As per usual, readers will want to soak up every awful detail and follow the Baudelaires all the way back to the place we first metthem--Briny Beach. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–This episode of Lemony Snicket's continuing saga of the Baudelaire orphans (HarperCollins, 2004), finds them on a sled in the Stricken Stream. They are spotted by blustery Captain Widdershins of the submarine Queequeg
and taken aboard. Violet, Claus, and Sunny, dressed in diving suits with Herman Melville's picture on the front, meet the captain's bookish step-daughter, Fiona and the overly-optimistic cook, Phil (from the Lucky Smells Lumberyard). The crew sets out to find a lucky sugar bowl. They arrive at the fearsome Gorgonian Grotto, Sunny is attacked by a poisonous mushroom, leaving her gasping for breath. And, to make matters worse, the crew runs into the clutches of the villainous Count Olaf, the slick and chic Esme Squalor, and the bratty Carmelita Spats. Will the Baudelaires find an antidote to save Sunny? Will they escape from Count Olaf, Esme Squalor, and Carmelita Spats' horrid singing? Will they find the sugar bowl? Narrator Tim Curry takes on the persona of each character, bringing them to life with his unique narration. The Grim Grotto
is a necessary addition to all library collections so Lemony Snicket fans can hear more about the continuing tribulations of the Baudelaires.–Larry Cooperman, Jacksonville Public Library, FL
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