the bad beginning
the reptile room
a series of unfortunate events series 1 & 2
Dear Reader, I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your
hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very
unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the
Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very
first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive
terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at
their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune. In this
short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive
villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their
fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast. It is my sad duty to write
down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from
putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you
prefer that sort of thing. With all due respect, Lemony Snicket
I know that these books are much beloved and considered at this point children's classics, but I just couldn't love them. And it's not that they're written for younger kids. I have no problem with Harry Potter & I love Gregor the Overlander, but maybe I'm just too much in need of happy endings in kids books. And Mr. Snicket constantly reminds us that these books are not happy ending books. At least he's honest about that. I both love & hate the way so many words are defined in the book. Hate because it gets tiresome when I already know the definitions. It breaks up the pace of the book for me. I love them because thinking as a parent this is a great way to introduce words that kids might not know and define words in a fun and easy to incorporate way.
I do also love the 'back story' of Lemony Snicket. I love how Daniel Handler created this character and made this entire story to explain why Lemony Snicket is writing about the Baudelaire children.
I'm not saying these are bad books, I just could love them and don't have much desire to finish out the series. Maybe Emma will love them!