Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events – Review

LEMONYThis summer I devoted my time to reading all thirteen books in this series because a young friend of mine was reading it too. It is always fun when you are reading the same books as someone else so you can discuss them. Here is what Wikipedia says about the series:

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of children's novels by Lemony Snicket (the pen name of American author Daniel Handler) which follows the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents' death in an arsonous house fire. The children are placed in the custody of their distant cousin Count Olaf, who treats them rudely and plots to embezzle their inheritance. After the Baudelaires are removed from his care by their parents' estate executor, Arthur Poe, Olaf begins to doggedly hunt the children down, bringing about the serial slaughter and demise of a multitude of characters.

The series is actively narrated by Snicket, who makes numerous references to his mysterious, deceased love interest, Beatrice. Both Snicket and Beatrice play roles in the story along with Snicket's family members, all of whom are part of a mysterious organisation known as "V.F.D."”

It seemed like the story line was very dark and even depressing at times. Yet, I was cheering on the children and hoping that eventually they would have a happy ending. Finishing each book had me wanting to read more because I wanted to know what would happen in their next adventure. Though I have to admit that by Book 13, I was ready for the story to end. It started getting long and drawn out so I was feeling tired and frustrated for the children. I am looking forward to seeing the movie now and comparing it to the books. Seeing the movie would be a good incentive to get students to finish the series.

I could see upper elementary school and up reading these books. I think it would help develop a larger vocabulary because throughout the books new words and their definitions were given. I also think students would enjoy making new combinations of words using V. F. D. I also think that there would be many opportunities for art expression by having the students make their own illustrations of important events. Choosing their least favorite character would also be a great activity. They could make a poster about this character and write why they dislike this person the most or they might dress up as one of the main characters and tell the class why they dislike this person the most.

Have you ever read this series? What did you think about it? Please share your thoughts about this.

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