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The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of…

The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) (original 1999; edition 2007)

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

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11,428309239 (3.67)186
Title:The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
Authors:Lemony Snicket
Other authors:Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Favorites
Tags:orphans, plays, children, evil, money, Olaf, Sunny, Klaus, Violet

Work details

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)

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» See also 186 mentions

English (297)  French (3)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (305)
Showing 1-5 of 297 (next | show all)
When Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire lose their parents in a deadly fire, they are forced to live with a distant relative named Count Olaf. However, he just wants the children for the fortune their parents left behind. He tries to make the children's lives as miserable as possible. Olaf finds out that he can marry Violet in order to receive the fortune. When the children confront him, Sunny is placed in a birdcage suspended in the air. Violet tricks Olaf and signs with her opposite hand, making the marriage invalid. Mr. Poe looks for a new home for the children.

This is one of my favorite children's book series. I always loved the suspense and mystery that accompanied these books. The characters all have very unique personalities and it's very easy to feel a connection to them. I always loved when Sunny would talk in the book and Lemony Snicket would use some nonsense word like "Odo yow" and give it a meaning. Snicket's warning in the beginning to stay away from the book and calling it terrible always made me want to read it more. ( )
  tstato1 | Dec 9, 2014 |
Three orphan children get taken custody of by their uncle. This uncle is only interested in receiving their fortune of money. This is a great series book for students to read. This series is for grades three and up.
  lauramaki | Dec 9, 2014 |
This book is about three orphans who's parents die. There distant relative tries to gain custody of the children to gain their large fortune. It is a good book for children because if they like the book, it will open doors for them to continue reading other books in the series. Grade levels include 6-8. ( )
  Arron_Chelmo | Dec 6, 2014 |
This book is great for kids who don't like to read. It's engaging and not too difficult. One feature that I like about this book is how the author introduces new words. Right after the new word is used, the author defines it like it's just another part of the story. For example, in the story, a character said something "testily" and then word was defined: "a word which here means 'in an extremely annoyed tone." It makes difficult words more approachable. Every book in this series is a page-turner. They're just appealing to kids.
This is also a great story of relying on one's family to get through hard times, even if your family structure isn't a mom, a dad, and 2.3 kids. The Baudelaire children only have each other after their parents are killed in a fire. But they quickly learn that if they want to survive their new guardian, Count Olaf, they have to rely on each other for the love and support that a parent would have given them before the unthinkable happened. For example, when they are dropped off at Count Olaf's house, Count Olaf shows them their bedroom and it's disgusting and it only has one bed. Violet and Klaus work together and utilize their skills to make a bed for their infant sister and they check in with each other emotionally, things that a parent would do. The message is that even if your support system changes or wasn't even something "traditional" to start with, you can rely on them to get through hard times. ( )
  hphipp2 | Dec 5, 2014 |
This is a book for older readers who are curious about darker yet whimsical themes. This book deals with the loss of two children's parents, but does so in a slightly sarcastic manner, and continues to get much much worse. Despite the dark tone of the book, it is very engaging. The book is not only dark, but quite humorous as well, which keeps reading wanting more. ( )
  jmitra1 | Dec 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 297 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Snicket, Lemonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helquist, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Beatrice—darling, dearest, dead.
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If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.
The children looked from the well-scrubbed house of Justice Strauss to the dilapidated one next door. The bricks were stained with soot and grime. There were only two small windows, which were closed with the shades drawn even though it was a nice day. Rising about the windows was a tall and dirty tower that tilted slightly to the left. The front door needed to be repainted, and carved in the middle of it was an image of an eye. The entire building sagged to the side, like a crooked tooth.
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After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064407667, Hardcover)

Make no mistake. The Bad Beginning begins badly for the three Baudelaire children, and then gets worse. Their misfortunes begin one gray day on Briny Beach when Mr. Poe tells them that their parents perished in a fire that destroyed their whole house. "It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed," laments the personable (occasionally pedantic) narrator, who tells the story as if his readers are gathered around an armchair on pillows. But of course what follows is dreadful. The children thought it was bad when the well-meaning Poes bought them grotesque-colored clothing that itched. But when they are ushered to the dilapidated doorstep of the miserable, thin, unshaven, shiny-eyed, money-grubbing Count Olaf, they know that they--and their family fortune--are in real trouble. Still, they could never have anticipated how much trouble. While it's true that the events that unfold in Lemony Snicket's novels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope, these delightful, funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl (remember James and the Giant Peach and his horrid spinster aunts), Charles Dickens (the orphaned Pip in Great Expectations without the mysterious benefactor), and Edward Gorey (The Gashlycrumb Tinies). There is no question that young readers will want to read the continuing unlucky adventures of the Baudelaire children in The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:59 -0400)

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10 yrs+

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