In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume.
Snicket, author of the wildly successful Series of Unfortunate Events stories, returns with the first in the projected four-volume All the Wrong Questions series, supplying "autobiographical" accounts of his unusual childhood. Nearly 13 when the book opens, Snicket is beginning his apprenticeship for a mysterious organization under the tutelage of dimwitted S. Theodora Markson, who is ranked dead last in effectiveness by the agency but who may be the source of Snicket's tic of defining vocabulary pedantically, a word which here means, oh, never mind. Unlike Snicket's Unauthorized Biography (HarperCollins, 2002), which left readers as uninformed about him as they were before they read it, this account reveals that Lemony is "an excellent reader, a good cook, a mediocre musician, and an awful quarreler." Not mind-blowing, but it's a start. And perhaps not true. Straight answers are hard to find as Snicket and Markson investigate a theft in a seaside town that's been drained of its sea, encountering deception and double crosses at every turn. Full of Snicket's trademark droll humor and maddeningly open-ended, this will have readers clamoring for volume two. Ages 9-up. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
October 22, 2012
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