A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The humor in these stories is bleak, but most kids won't pick up on it. If your child is particularly sensitive be sure to use this as a discussion point and explain this off-beat sense of humor.
Positive Role Models
Good kids in funny melodrama.
Violence & Scariness
A shooting with a harpoon, poisoning, several deaths (and more alluded to).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A cordial with opiate effects.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the humor in this series is of the dark, bleak variety, and many kids don't get the joke -- they just see it as an adventure. Few books are seen as differently by adults and kids as this series. You'll probably enjoy it almost as much as your children -- but for entirely different reasons.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books will eat up THE END, and those new to the series won't understand much of it. Adults love the mordant humor. Kids love the melodramatic adventure.
Part mystery, part Dickensian melodrama, with a few touches of fantasy, all served up with a sort of glum hilarity, A Series of Unfortunate Events is like Oliver Twist narrated by Eeyore. With frequent witty explanations of vocabulary, extended cockeyed metaphors, and much tongue-in-cheek woe and misery, it's the kids' version of a mock-tragedy, a literary jape that even those who don't get the joke can enjoy. Anyone worried about the verbal and literary acuity of today's generation can relax -- judging by the popularity of this smart series, something must be going right after all.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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