I’m very late to jump onto this series’ bandwaggon, but after finding half the series in a charity shop for 50p each, I couldn’t resist picking them up. This is definitely a series that would be most enjoyed by a younger audience, but there’s something about Lemony Snicket‘s narrative that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Something about the tone of his narrative struck me as similar to that of JK Rowling’s – he didn’t treat his intended audience as not being as knowledgable as an older audience, but instead aimed to make them feel included in his friendly tone. Such as explaining what some of the more difficult words for younger readers meant – one or two which I didn’t even know the meaning of! This gave the narrative a warmer feel to it, as it would put younger readers at ease if they didn’t fully understand certain words.
His characters were wonderful – I loved that it was the elder sister Violet who was interested in inventing things and engineering, as opposed to what would have been considered a more masculine pursuit. Why not have a female character interested in such things? Everyone has different interests, and I loved that Snicket demonstrated this through his characterisation of the Baudelaire children. It would also validate younger readers’ desires to follow their dreams in such areas, which I think is a very important message to instill in younger readers.
The overall tone also seemed to convey an overall message about loss – in the opening chapter the Baudelaire children find themselves as orphans and placed in the care of a distant relative Count Olaf. In the face of adversity the children survive together and show younger readers that it’s okay to feel sad about losing a loved one, and showed them dealing with their emotions and the terrible things that happened to them in such a positive way.
I really loved how Snicket showed the three children combining their individual talents to triumph, each of them looking out for each other. The story was neatly put together, though the climax of the plot was INCREDIBLY CREEPY. I really liked how Snicket showed the adults as being mostly in the wrong, and not listening to the children at times – this would show younger readers that adults don’t always know what’s best, and would serve to make younger readers feel included in the narrative. I’m the face of adversity they pushed through to triumph, which was a nice start to the series.
I would give it a 4/5, because the characters were so engaging, and there was something so warm and comforting about the overall tone of the narrative. This is definitely a series aimed at younger readers, and I really liked how Snicket didn’t treat his intended audience as stupid but instead worked to get them wholly involved in the narrative.