Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning
A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the First
Lemony Snicket

Young Adult

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.” So says the author, and he’s very, very right. But that certainly doesn’t stop the book from being fun.

Violet (14), Klaus (12), and infant Sunny Baudelaire are walking along Briny Beach when Mr. Poe arrives to tell them the terrible news that their house has burned down and they are now orphans. At first, the three siblings go to live with Mr. Poe. But, soon enough, a relative steps forward and offers to care for them. Unfortunately, that relative is the evil Count Olaf. Despite their best efforts, the children can do nothing to please him, and it becomes clear that he simply wants their family fortune.

The fun here is in watching Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny, work as a team to get out of one bad situation after another. The Baudelaire children are clever, resourceful, and committed to staying together, as a family. The author, a mysterious fellow, goes to great lengths to use interesting words, and is kind enough to explain what they mean. Parents will be glad to know that there is nothing graphic or overly scary here, unless, of course, you’re afraid of waiting for the next book. I know of at least one family that enjoys reading the books aloud to each other, and some adults, including yours truly, that read them just for enjoyment. The author is working up to the final installment, wherein all will (maybe) be revealed, so watch this space for more reviews and information.

Rating: 8
ISBN# 0-06-440766-3 (hardcover)


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