Cover image for The miserable mill
Title:
The miserable mill
Author:
Snicket, Lemony.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
194 pages : illustrations; 19 cm.
Summary:
Accidents, evil plots, and general misfortune abound when, in their continuing search for a home, the Baudelaire orphans are sent to live and work in a sinister lumber mill.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1000 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.2 5.0 41284.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.6 9 Quiz: 22167 Guided reading level: V.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060283155

9780064407694
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES

I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumber mill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log. The pages of this book, I'm sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons. I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven't, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket


Author Notes

Lemony Snicket is the pen name of Daniel Handler, who was born on February 28, 1970. As Lemony Snicket, he is the author of and appears as a character in the children's book series A Series of Unfortunate Events. He has also written or contributed to other works using this pen name including Baby in the Manger, The Lump of Coal, The Composer Is Dead, and Where Did You See Her Last?.

Under his real name, Handler is the author of several books for adults including The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. The fourth in Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events opens with the Baudelaire orphans aboard a train bound for Paltryville, where they will meet their new guardian, the owner of the Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Even children who have not read the earlier books will soon learn that the Baudelaire children are heirs to a large fortune, that their evil nemesis Count Olaf plots against them in hopes of stealing their fortune, and that the children must depend upon each other, since the banker who (mis)manages their affairs has placed them in one wretched, disastrous situation after another. Now they find themselves working in the lumbermill (yes, even baby Sunny), and given nothing for breakfast, chewing gum for lunch, and (shudder) casserole for dinner. The story is deliciously mock-Victorian and self-mockingly melodramatic. Helquist's deft pencil drawings and the author's many asides to the reader underscore the droll humor, which many children will relish. Another plum for the orphans' fans. --Carolyn Phelan


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-In the fourth (HarperCollins, 2000) delightfully doleful tale of the Baudelaire orphans and their wicked antagonist, Count Olaf, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are sent to live with the owner of the Lucky Smells Sawmill and discover that they are to labor in the mill under the most inhuman of conditions. Not only are they given only five minutes for lunch, but lunch is just a piece of gum! Pay consists of coupons ("buy two get one free") the workers can't use. When Klaus's eyeglasses are broken, he is sent to an eye doctor whose receptionist proves to be Count Olaf in disguise. Soon the children realize that Count Olaf and the eye doctor are scheming to get the children's fortune. All the elements of silent movie serials are here: cliff hanging chapter endings, villainous adults, and even a climactic scene in which the one person who has tried to help the orphans is tied to a log and pushed toward a buzzing saw. Fortunately, at the last moment the eye doctor falls into the blade instead. Of course, the orphans escape Olaf''s clutches once again, but he eludes capture and we know it will not be long before the orphans will fall victim to his schemes again. The reader is purported to be Lemony Snicket, and he uses just the right dismal tone to relate these wretched happenings. This audiobook is sure to fly off the shelf in libraries where the Snicket series is popular (is there any library where it is not?), and most school and public librarians will want to add it to their collections.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

A Series of Unfortunate Events #4: The Miserable Mill Chapter One Sometime during your life-in fact, very soon-you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book's first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains. For instance, a book that began with the sentence "Once upon a time there was a family of cunning little chipmunks who lived in a hollow tree" would probably contain a story full of talking animals who get into all sorts of mischief. A book that began with the sentence "Emily sat down and looked at the stack of blueberry pancakes her mother had prepared for her, but she was too nervous about Camp Timbertops to eat a bite" would probably contain a story full of giggly girls who have a grand old time. And a book that began with the sentence "Gary smelled the leather of his brand-new catcher's mitt and waited impatiently for his best friend Larry to come around the corner" would probably contain a story full of sweaty boys who win some sort of trophy. And if you liked mischief, a grand old time, or trophies, you would know which book to read, and you could throw the rest of them away. But this book begins with the sentence "The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get any better," and you should be able to tell that the story that follows will be very different from the story of Gary or Emily or the family of cunning little chipmunks. And this is for the simple reason that the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are very different from most people's lives, with the main difference being the amount of unhappiness, horror, and despair. The three children have no time to get into all sorts of mischief, because misery follows them wherever they go. They have not had a grand old time since their parents died in a terrible fire. And the only trophy they would win would be some sort of First Prize for Wretchedness. It is atrociously unfair, of course, that the Baudelaires have so many troubles, but that is the way the story goes. So now that I've told you that the first sentence will be "The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get any better," if you wish to avoid an unpleasant story you had best put this book down. The Baudelaire orphans looked out the grimy window of the train and gazed at the gloomy blackness of the Finite Forest, wondering if their lives would ever get any better. An announcement over a crackly loudspeaker had just told them that in a few minutes they would arrive in the town of Paltryville, where their new caretaker lived, and they couldn't help wondering who in the world would want to live in such dark and eerie countryside. Violet, who was fourteen and the eldest Baudelaire, looked out at the trees of the forest, which were very tall and had practically no branches, so they looked almost like metal pipes instead of trees. Violet was an inventor, and was always designing machines and devices in her head, with her hair tied up in a ribbon to help her think, and as she gazed out at the trees she began work on a mechanism that would allow you to climb to the top of any tree, even if it were completely bare. Klaus, who was twelve, looked down at the forest floor, which was covered in brown, patchy moss. Klaus liked to read more than anything else, and he tried to remember what he had read about Paltryville mosses and whether any of them were edible. And Sunny, who was just an infant, looked out at the smoky gray sky that hung over the forest like a damp sweater. Sunny had four sharp teeth, and biting things with them was what interested her most, and she was eager to see what there was available to bite in the area. But even as Violet began planning her invention, and Klaus thought of his moss research, and Sunny opened and closed her mouth as a prebiting exercise, the Finite Forest looked so uninspiring that they couldn't help wondering if their new home would really be a pleasant one. "What a lovely forest!" Mr. Poe remarked, and coughed into a white handkerchief. Mr. Poe was a banker who had been in charge of managing the Baudelaire affairs since the fire, and I must tell you that he was not doing a very good job. His two main duties were finding the orphans a good home and protecting the enormous fortune that the children's parents had left behind, and so far each home had been a catastrophe, a word which here means "an utter disaster involving tragedy, deception, and Count Olaf." Count Olaf was a terrible man who wanted the Baudelaire fortune for himself, and tried every disgusting scheme he could think of to steal it. Time after time he had come very close to succeeding, and time after time the Baudelaire orphans had revealed his plan, and time after time he had escaped-and all Mr. Poe had ever done was cough. Now he was accompanying the children to Paltryville, and it pains me to tell you that once again Count Olaf would appear with yet another disgusting scheme, and that Mr. Poe would once again fail to do anything even remotely helpful. "What a lovely forest!" Mr. Poe said again, when he was done coughing. "I think you children will have a good home here. I hope you do, anyway, because I've just received a promotion at Mulctuary Money Management. I'm now the Vice President in Charge of Coins, and from now on I will be busier than ever. If anything goes wrong with you here, I will have to send you to boarding school until I have time to find you another home, so please be on your best behavior." "Of course, Mr. Poe," Violet said, not adding that she and her siblings had always been on their best behavior but that it hadn't done them any good. A Series of Unfortunate Events #4: The Miserable Mill . Copyright © by Lemony Snicket. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.