A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

While at the beach on a cloudy day, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire receive a visit from Mr. Poe, a family friend, who has the unfortunate job of telling them that their parents perished in a fire that destroyed their entire home. Now orphans, the Baudelaires are sent to live with a distant uncle, Count Olaf, who has more interest in the children’s fortune than in the children. With little help from the other adults in their lives, will Violet, Klaus, and Sunny be able to stop Count Olaf before it is too late for them?

This is not my first time reading A Series of Unfortunate Events. I actually have the entire series, which I finished reading back in high school. However, since I’ve only read through the series once, I don’t quite remember what happens in the end and with Netflix releasing an adaptation of the series, I knew I had to re-read them for good measure.

With my second time reading through The Bad Beginning at an older age, I realized how this is a great book for young adults. Around 160 pages, not only is it a simple and quick snapshot of one part of the Baudelaire children’s lives, but it’s a story that also teaches in a more straightforward manner than most. Usually readers may subconsciously or consciously pick up something from every book they read, and one thing that readers can pick up from this book is words. Lemony Snicket tells his story in a rather simple way, but there are times where he will introduce more complicated words for younger kids and tell them what they mean. I think this is a great way to help kids learn different words, expand their vocabulary, and help them stay curious about words. There are also great instances of foreshadowing that I didn’t notice my first time reading this book many years ago.

While some may think that the subject matter is a little strong for younger children, I think A Series of Unfortunate Events is a great series that may help kids become more empathetic toward their peers and will help them to be able to cope with tragic situations a little better knowing they have something they can relate to.