“I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children.”
This is the first book in a 13-book series called A Series of Unfortunate Events. It sets up the story of the Baudelaire siblings – 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus and infant Sunny. They are enjoying a day at the beach when a man comes up to tell them that their parents have just perished in a fire that also destroyed their home. Their world will never be the same.
We were gifted the entire series by a family member who highly recommended them to my older daughters (the ones who have already read the Harry Potter series). I wanted to read it along with them, although they are now already a book or two ahead of me.
The Baudelaire siblings first go to stay with the man who gave them the bad news. He then finds a distant relative living in town and sends them to live with him. The Baudelaire siblings have inheritance money, but they cannot access it until Violet is 18. Their newly found uncle is plotting ways to access that money and will stop at nothing to get his hands on it. Cue more unfortunate events.
While awful things do happen in this book to the children, I think the doubtfulness of it ever being a reality lets my children enjoy the story. It keeps them guessing because just when you think the worst thing has happened to the children, something else even worse comes along.
This would be a fun series for young adults to read. I would recommend that parents read it with their children if they are younger than 10, have a hard time distinguishing reality from fiction or have trouble with distressing plot lines.