A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the story of siblings Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after the mysterious death of their parents in a fire. Violet is the eldest and is an extraordinary inventor, Klaus is the middle child and avid reader, and Sunny is the baby with a set a strong teeth.
The children spend their time bouncing along from guardian to guardian, evading the nefarious Count Olaf every step of the way. The beginning books follow the same plot in which the children are place in the care of a new caregiver, the caregiver is tricked by Count Olaf, and the children have to save themselves again. The later books are much less formulaic, but luckily the essence of the series is never lost.
The series is unique from other children’s books, and as a child that is what drew me to them. The stories don’t always end happily: people get hurt and die. Horrible things happen to the Baudelaire siblings and their friends. As the author says, if you’re looking for a happy ending pick up another book.
That said, the macabre tone of the series reels children in, and the stories prove fascinating and thrilling for children. I remember in elementary school, we all would run to the library after the publishing of a new volume, hoping to be the first to read about the Baudelaires’ latest disasters. Unfortunate events aside, the series is a lot of fun for children and parents alike. Besides, how could you pass up a book authored by a man named “Lemony Snicket”?