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review 2018-10-09 00:09
The Bad Beginning ★☆☆☆☆
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I have no idea why this book/series is so popular. I can see, sort of, why children may love it. Many of the books I loved as a kid were no better, and this has brave, clever orphans (boy AND girl), a cute baby sister, mean ugly villains, disbelieving adults, and a horrible house. The only thing it’s missing is a dog.


But this just doesn’t seem well-written to me. The characters are just caricatures. There’s nothing especially clever about the setup or the world the characters are placed in. There are none of the clever observations about human nature or winking humor or enjoyably silly word games that made Rowling’s books so appealing. I suppose some might find the little asides (by the way, that word means _______) funny and were obviously meant in jest, but I found them annoying. And the forced marriage device plot involving a 14 year old child, with the adult characters’ innuendos about how pretty she is and about the marriage night, was just plain disturbing, not to mention the implication that marriage, once committed to, even under duress, is a lifetime trap.


Hardcover version, picked up at a church rummage sale. I ought to put it in the library donation box, but I'm honestly considering dropping it in the recycle bin instead. 



I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Thirteen: any book that relates to bad luck, superstitions, including (but not limited to) black cats, ravens or crows, or the unlucky number 13, either in the title, series, book cover or page count.

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text 2018-10-08 11:50
The Bad Beginning - 80/162pg
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I am puzzled, which as you probably know, means unable to understand, as to why this book is so popular. 


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review 2018-09-28 19:06
Some Really Bad Luck
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

Its bad enough to be orphaned after a tragic fire but to then be forced to live with a skimming distant.... and I mean distant relative makes it that much worse. For the Baudelaire children, this is the predicament they find themselves in. Will they be able to outsmart and survive their stay with Count Olaf?




  • I am in love with the Protagonist in this novel. Violet is a smart and creative young girl. She has the mind of an engineering mastermind. She can create anything and is not afraid to get dirty. Throughout the novel, she is in a constant state of imagining and wonder of how things work. Her younger brother, Klaus, is a researcher by heart and loves to read the most. He jumps at chances to learn and tries to solve problems through literature and knowledge. Both these characters are strong allies for children to connect with. 


  • Throughout the book, difficult words are used to describe certain situations or emotions the children face. Although this is not unique to use a vocabulary slightly higher than the reader's comprehension at the time the act of defining the words in a vocabulary the reader would understand it is. I appreciated the clarification given along with it embedded in the story. So as not to appear as a vocabulary word. This will help children build a vocabulary and how the word is used correctly. 


  • The book's narration is vivid and clear in the description. The surroundings and characters are depicted in a language children will understand and appreciate. 




  • I was not anticipating the book being so dark. At times I asked myself " what was I reading?"There are instances of child abuse, child bride, death and hints at other mature topics. I think this book would have to be either read with a parent or read by the parent beforehand. 


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review 2018-09-09 22:29
A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Books 1-10) - Lemony Snicket

Lexile Level: 1010L


This book by Lemony Snicket is the first in an imaginative and whimsical series featuring three orphans who encounter several conflicts or 'unfortunate events'. The series features the villian Count Olaf who the children must fight against using their own specific gifts or skills. The book has several messages that would be great to introduce to students. The young characters' determination would be a great subject of discussion that could lead to written reading responses. This series would be perfect for upper elementary students to read independently or as part of literature circles. Students would enjoy discussing the books with their peers. The book features many vocabulary words which students could discuss together in their groups. The series also gives students examples of highly descriptive writing which could be used to inspire them to make their own writing more expressive. 

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review 2018-06-07 02:17
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents - Lemony Snicket

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A fun, engaging read that allows the reader to partake in the solving of thirteen mysteries. The book is set up so that the mystery is presented in the first half, then the conclusion can be found at the end. This is a nice way to engage the reader.

The mysteries themselves were well-written and it was find to try to figure out what happened in each. 

The only downside was that I listened to the audiobook. This is a weird book to listen to as an audiobook, because instead of flipping to the end of the book to see if your guess was right, you'd have to change the CD, then find the appropriate track (also the tracks are only listed on the actual CDs). Way too much work. So I just had to listen to all thirteen stories, then try to remember what happened in each separate mystery by the time I got to listen to the conclusions. Still a fun book, but an odd choice for an audiobook. Probably best to just read the physical book, although the all-star cast of narrators is pretty great.

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