Little is answered definitively, but fans won’t mind; they’ll just be pleased there are two more young Snicket adventures to...

"WHEN DID YOU SEE HER LAST?"

From the All the Wrong Questions series , Vol. 2

Questions answered, question posed (the wrong one again). Mysteries solved, mystery deepens….           

Nearly 13-year-old Lemony Snicket chased the missing statue of the Bombinating Beast under the inept, ignorant and annoying supervision of his mentor S. Theodora Merkson (“Who Could That Be at This Hour?”, 2012). That case didn’t turn out too well. They now have a new case, and Theodora looks to be pursuing this as ineptly as she did before. The duo is searching for Miss Cleo Knight, daughter of the heirs of Ink Inc. Her unconcerned parents appear to have been drugged by their private apothecary, Dr. Flammarion, but housekeepers Zara and Zora are deeply worried. Cleo’s a brilliant chemist, but shallow investigation points to her having run off to join the circus. Young Mr. Snicket knows most things are not as they seem at first, and while his mentor celebrates solving the case, he investigates further, with the help of associates from his last adventure, and discovers connections to their last case…and the case his sister Kit is working on. Snicket’s second of four All the Wrong Questions is more sly noir for preteens. Chock-full of linguistic play and literary allusions to children’s and classic literature, this is adventure mystery for young readers who like to think as they read.

Little is answered definitively, but fans won’t mind; they’ll just be pleased there are two more young Snicket adventures to come. (Mystery. 8-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-316-12305-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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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

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A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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WONDER

After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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