Monday, April 18, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

I just watched this movie with my girls last night and thought it would be a good choice for MMGM. It is a classic and addictive series. The movie I think is just as well done as the books (which isn't always the case).

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket
Published in 2000

Other books in the series:
The Reptile Room #2
The Wide Window #3
The Miserable Mill #4
The Austere Academy #5
The Ersatz Elevator #6
The Vile Village #7
The Hostile Hospital #8
The Carnivorous Carnival #9
The Slippery Slope #10
The Grim Grotto #11
The Penultimate Peril #12
The End #13
The Beatrice Letters

The Hook: After losing their parents and home in a fire, three children must go live with their Uncle Olaf who wants to steal their fortune. The children must expose their uncle before he kills them.

Why I love this series: Characters and cleverness. The three children are all very unique characters and, despite their misery, they support and protect each other. Olaf is one of the best villains I've read. The whole series is very clever. The well crafted mystery, the children's problem solving and Olaf's characters are very entertaining. The book is a fast read and great for reluctant readers because of its size and style.

The series also introduces bigger vocabulary to kids in a fun way.


  1. I read the first book to my kids last year and they loved it. I thought the writing was so clever--it reads aloud so well, too.

  2. One of my daughter's loved these books! I found it hard to get used to the writing style, but I enjoyed the movie.

  3. I love the unique voice of this series...I can see how an unknown author sending in this work might get the evil breaks a lot of rules.

  4. Funny you should mention this now because we were just saying that we have to rent the movie again. What a coincidence.

  5. Nice post, Brooke.

    I adored the first three books, but never felt compelled to read on. The best part, to me, is the snarky asides that only adults would understand! My younger son started reading these books when they first came out but by book six he said, "Mom, I'm gonna stop reading them. Too depressing." I think he was just too young to get the humor.

  6. Both of my kids enjoyed these, to a certain point, and then they stopped reading - each at a different point. Perhaps they needed to move on with something different. I haven't read them, and none of us has seen the movie.