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The Reptile Room: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
The Reptile Room: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2 Book Poster Image
A clever, suspenseful mystery in series.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Uncle Olaf is a heartless wretch, and acts it.


Olaf is given to flashing his knife when he wants to get his way. Olaf comes perilously close to abducting the children to Peru. Feelings of despair and heartache are not skirted, nor are they dwelled upon.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that figuring out what the hideous Uncle Olaf is up to, other than no good, will keep readers' interest roused. There will be plenty of nailbiting as the clock clicks down.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhi12345tesdfv April 20, 2012
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
Another great book in the series!
Teen, 14 years old Written bynintendo_freak_13 April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old December 26, 2010

The dreadful setting( I mean the setting ,not the writter's skills)

Really depressing for me .Really bad luck, Baudelairies.

What's the story?

The welcome return of the ill-fated Baudelaire orphans, whose dark-humored circumstances brighten older readers' days. Here in their second book they again match wits with their greedy and evil Uncle Olaf, and here again Lemony Snicket delights us with entertaining wordplay, the poker-faced narrator, and a droll, but cliff-hanging story.


Is it any good?

Snicket does not rely on shock value to keep his audience's interest, but rather animates his bleak comedy with a suspenseful mystery that gathers momentum. He ably handles unhappy emotions that steal over the Baudelaire children -- and probably are experienced by some readers as well -- such as the "dark and curious feeling of falling that accompanies any great loss."

This is the second in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books that follow the rotten, cursed life of the Baudelaire children. This installment plays less on their ill luck -- that can safely be taken for granted -- and more on the story at hand, a mystery cunningly unraveled by the children. Snicket presents it almost like a play, with plenty of detail and a drawing-room atmosphere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bleak stories. Like the rest of the series, this book is dark, gloomy, and full of woe. What, then, makes it so appealing and enjoyable?

Book details

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