Best to start at the beginning, but the whole’s an enjoyable ride. (Mystery. 8-14)

READ REVIEW

"WHY IS THIS NIGHT DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER NIGHTS?"

From the All the Wrong Questions series , Vol. 5

Librarians, a train, a murder, and the end of an apprenticeship.

Young Lemony Snicket’s chaperone, S. Theodora Markson, has crept out in the middle of the night. Following her, he receives an origami message from one of his associates (a word that here refers to the people around his age with whom he shares the goal of stopping the villainous Hangfire from destroying the ink-manufacturing town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea). The message leads Snicket to the railway station, where a train is about to depart Stain’d-by-the-Sea for the city. The train’s taking both Snicket’s former associate Ellington Feint and librarian Dashiell Qwerty (the latter unjustly accused of arson) to the city to await trial. With no ticket, it takes a feat of derring-do to get aboard. When he does, Snicket nearly witnesses a murder…which he then must solve while attempting to keep Hangfire from obtaining the statue of the Bombinating Beast, the final piece in his dastardly plan. With a train half full of suspects, Snicket’s lucky the other half are his associates. Can they trap Hangfire and catch a murderer? Author Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) closes his quartet of smart, noirish mysteries detailing the early training of the chronicler of the woes of the Baudelaire children with several bangs (and a poison dart or two). Most questions (wrong and right) are answered by the satisfying close.

Best to start at the beginning, but the whole’s an enjoyable ride. (Mystery. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-12304-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this...

HOLES

Sentenced to a brutal juvenile detention camp for a crime he didn't commit, a wimpy teenager turns four generations of bad family luck around in this sunburnt tale of courage, obsession, and buried treasure from Sachar (Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, 1995, etc.).

Driven mad by the murder of her black beau, a schoolteacher turns on the once-friendly, verdant town of Green Lake, Texas, becomes feared bandit Kissin' Kate Barlow, and dies, laughing, without revealing where she buried her stash. A century of rainless years later, lake and town are memories—but, with the involuntary help of gangs of juvenile offenders, the last descendant of the last residents is still digging. Enter Stanley Yelnats IV, great-grandson of one of Kissin' Kate's victims and the latest to fall to the family curse of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; under the direction of The Warden, a woman with rattlesnake venom polish on her long nails, Stanley and each of his fellow inmates dig a hole a day in the rock-hard lake bed. Weeks of punishing labor later, Stanley digs up a clue, but is canny enough to conceal the information of which hole it came from. Through flashbacks, Sachar weaves a complex net of hidden relationships and well-timed revelations as he puts his slightly larger-than-life characters under a sun so punishing that readers will be reaching for water bottles.

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this rugged, engrossing adventure. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-374-33265-5

Page Count: 233

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children’s book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read...

ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY

From the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series , Vol. 1

When a lock-in becomes a reality game, 12-year-old Kyle Keeley and his friends use library resources to find their way out of Alexandriaville’s new public library.

The author of numerous mysteries for children and adults turns his hand to a puzzle adventure with great success. Starting with the premise that billionaire game-maker Luigi Lemoncello has donated a fortune to building a library in a town that went without for 12 years, Grabenstein cleverly uses the tools of board and video games—hints and tricks and escape hatches—to enhance this intricate and suspenseful story. Twelve 12-year-old winners of an essay contest get to be the first to see the new facility and, as a bonus, to play his new escape game. Lemoncello’s gratitude to the library of his childhood extends to providing a helpful holographic image of his 1968 librarian, but his modern version also includes changing video screens, touch-screen computers in the reading desks and an Electronic Learning Center as well as floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stretching up three stories. Although the characters, from gamer Kyle to schemer Charles Chiltington, are lightly developed, the benefits of pooling strengths to work together are clear.

Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at and references to children’s book titles, this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike. (Mystery. 9-13)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-87089-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more