I am so hooked on the Series of Unfortunate Events. For those of you whose lives are not as steeped in children's fiction as mine is, this is a series of 13 books about 3 children who lead quite unfortunate lives. These books were made a bit more famous a couple years ago when a movie came out loosely based on the first 3 books (starring Jim Carrey). The first book begins when their house burns down, killing their parents, and the series continues as they are bounced from guardian to guardian, each more pathetic than the last. They encounter all sorts of frustrations and frights such as man-eating leeches, working at a lumber mill, an austere boarding school where you learn only the metric system, nearly being fed to lions, and most of all, being chased by the horrid Count Olaf.
Why on earth would kids like these books so much? Well, for several reasons. For one thing, they are unbelievably funny! Lemony Snicket (the author) peppers the unfortunate tales with hysterical quips and definitions. My friend who teaches ESL told me that ESL kids really like this series, because they are not accustomed to assuming life will turn out just fine. I think many kids today are like that. . . they know what hardship is. They have endured horrible things, so they like reading about other kids that encounter way more horrible circumstances and endure them, bearly slipping through every time. That is the reason I like these books. I have always loved stories in which the kids are the heroes! And the orphans here are pure genius! They adore reading and learning, and can always invent something clever. And through all the trials, the brother and sisters are always loving and devoted to one another. I just love it!
This Friday, the final book in the series (#13!!) will be released, hopefully solving all the mysteries in the previous 12 books. At the bookstore I work at, we are having "An Evening of Unfortunate Events" to celebrate! I am pretty much planning the shibang, so I am really excited. Here are some of the things we have planned:
1. An unhappy and wretched movie filled with misery
2. A Series of Unfortunate Letters: "The Horrible Hunt" (this is my favorite part!)
3. Dull and tedious tasks to complete such as measuring items using the metric system
4. Distasteful treats such as Leech pudding and root beer float punch
5. A costume contest judged by Esme Squalor (a mean lady always telling people what is "in")
Doesn't that sound like a blast? :)