Thursday, January 9, 2014
"A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket
I'm happy to say that this series held up wonderfully! I started reading it for the first time not too long after the movie came out (so at that point, books 1 through 11 were out). I devoured the beginning of the series and then waited impatiently for the later books in the series to be returned/for Christmas morning as I had asked for the books. I specifically listened to The Slippery Slope on audio because that was available at the library (and Tim Curry is an excellent choice as narrator by the way). As the last two books came out, I got copies as soon as possible and read them like a crazy woman. It's sad to me that there doesn't seem to be as much interest in this series like there used to be, because I still think they are excellent.
Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire have just be orphaned and sent to live with Count Olaf. Instead of taking care of the children, Olaf comes up with one scheme after another to rob them of their fortune. They are then sent from one guardian to another, but no one is successful at taking care of these children. Thankfully, the Baudelaire's are the some of the smartest and resourceful children around. I think this series is great for kids that are beginning to become more confident with their reading. The books have quite a bit of humor in them (an on going joke within the book is just how horrible they are and that the reader should stop reading them immediately). One of my favorite parts of the series is how new words are introduced. Lemony Snicket does not shy away from using longer, more complicated words, but often points them out with the phrase "a word which here means..." Sometimes the definition is useful, sometimes it't not, but this technique is an interesting one. I was a teenager the first time I read these books, but even I learned a decent number of new words when I read this series (penultimate, for example).
It seems that popularity of these books has dropped since the series ended, which is really a shame. I never pass up an opportunity to encourage kids to read these books. They are great for both boys and girls and would even be a great series to read as a family. If you haven't read these book yet, you are really missing out (and though changes are made, the movies isn't bad either)!