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The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) Paperback – Unabridged, May 8, 2007
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Praise for A Series of Unfortunate Events: “Hilarious. Luckily for fans, the woes of the Baudelaires are far from over.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Those who enjoy a little poison in their porridge will find it wicked good fun.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Irrepressible, brave and charming.” (New York Times Book Review)
“With a cast of unforgettable characters, a distinctly literary air, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, this is a great match for dark comedy fans.” (Brightly)
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I do have to admit some of the situations may be a little harsh for younger children and seeing as there are 13 books they might find it too long.
The Baudelaires Siblings. Violet, Klaus and Sunny live a happy live with their two parents in the Baudelaire Mansion, but one gloomy day their banker Mr.Poe informs them there has been a terrible fire that has taken their parents life. The Baudelaires now orphans move with their closest relative (in location not family bloodline) Count Olaf a wicked man with greedy intentions, getting the Baudelaire fortune.
Lemony Snickets mysterious ways and beautiful writing show in this book, as we take a plunge in the Baudelaires unfortunate live and the turmoil they go through living with Count Olaf.
Parents be aware that it does feature unfortunate events, as the title clearly states, but this parent feels that the children's never give up attitudes and constructive ways of dealing with their loss(es) is a good lesson which really cannot be conveyed without hardship and that this is a lesson best learned early and carefully when possible. I would prefer my kids understand from a fictional characters example that a good attitude and positive outlets for negative emotions are the best course of action before he/she experiences similar loss themselves so that my kids can better deal with the loss weather I am there to help or in the event that I'm not for whatever reason.
The way Mr. Snicket explains some higher level vocabulary and certain concepts such as dramatic irony(in book 2) is also a plus as is his tongue in cheek humor. He writes on a fifth grade level but, kinda like Spongebob, he puts some tidbits for adult brains in there too that you wont be embarrassed about when you child gets older and figures it out.
I had not read any of the Lemony Snicket stories before, undoubtedly because I'm just too darn old; it's novel aimed at children, and I was already 20 years old by the time the author (Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) was born.
I may be old, but I still enjoy good fiction, no matter its intended audience. A Series of Unfortunate Events is an excellent story, with a very unusual approach, especially in children's lit -- a less-than-happy ending, presaged by the author on the very first page. It's full of interesting characters, bizarre situations, and a plot that moves along nicely. It's a tale well told, and I enjoyed it greatly. I'm sure kids would love it and want to read the sequels, which are legion. I will give this to my granddaughters when they're old enough; I'm sure they will love it, too.
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