A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Ersatz Elevator

Written by Lemony Snicket

Reviewed by A.L. (age 8)

The three Baudelaires go to the Squalor's apartment. The Baudelaires have to walk many stairs to reach the Squalor's apartment because elevators are out. They meet Jerome and Esme Squalor. There is an auction at Dark Avenue. Esme wants the Baudelaires to go out for dinner with Jerome so she can have a private talk with the auctioneer named Gunther. When they come back from dinner they find out that Gunther is hiding, somewhere in the apartment. They also find out that Gunther is Count Olaf. The Baudelaires find an elevator that leads up, but they are already on the top floor. The Baudelaires press the button and they find out that the elevator goes down into a dark place. When the Baudelaires reached the bottom they found the Quagmires in a cage. Violet invented fire tongs while Klaus found out that in the auction lot 50 was V.F.D. and that was what they were looking for. After the Baudelaires reached the bottom of the dark place they saw that the Quagmires were missing. They knew that Gunther took them. The Baudelaires told the whole story to Esme Squalor. After the Baudelaires finished the story Esme pushed the Baudelaires into the dark place. The Baudelaires thought they were going to die, but they landed on a net.

The Baudelaires now knew that Esme was working with Gunther. Since Sunny has sharp teeth she climbed to the top. Then she got the rope so they can climb to the bottom. The Baudelaires went to the bottom because they knew that the doorman wouldn't let them go to the auction. After the Baudelaires reached the bottom they took their fire tongs just incase they needed them later. Since there was a hallway in the dark place they started walking down it. The Baudelaires walked for a while then stopped because it was a dead end. The Baudelaire's used their torches to find a secret passageway that leads out of the apartment and to the Baudelaire's burnt mansion.

The Baudelaires saw Mr. Poe at the auction because he wanted lot 48 which is a fish statue, but the doorman got it. When it was time for lot 50 the Baudelaires asked Jerome if he can get them lot 50. After a while Jerome stopped biding because it was too high so Sunny said 1,000. The Baudelaires ripped the box open to show everyone that the Quagmires were inside, but when they ripped it open dollies fell out. Everyone knew Gunther was Count Olaf. The Baudelaires found out that the doorman was Count Olaf's assistant and the Quagmires were hidden in the fish statue which was lot 48. Now Mr. Poe has to find the Baudelaires a new guardian.

There was a character that I found interesting. The person is Violet because she can invent anything and when I grow up I want to invent new things. One time in the book she made fire tongs to melt the cage, but the Quagmires were gone. Another thing is that sometimes her inventions are used for other things.

This book is part of a series called A Series of Unfortunate Events. Some things that are similar are that all the books the Baudelaires have a miserable and woeful life. Another thing is that in all the books Count Olaf tries to steal the Baudelaires fortune. One thing that is different is in this book is that they stay in an apartment building and that Count Olaf changes his name to Gunther.

The story does remind me of something in life. The part when Esme Squalor tells the Baudelaires to take the parsley soda to the Squalor's apartment it reminds me of my mom telling me to bring the groceries inside the house.

I think a reader or audience would like this book if they like adventures. I also think people would like this book if they like inventions, climbing with teeth, reading, and knowing really hard words.

A.L. is a student in Ms. M.'s 1st-5th Grade Class
2004-2005