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Snicket, Lemony.
THE BAD BEGINNING (A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS)
New York : HarperCollins, 1999.
IL 5-8 RL 6.0
ISBN 0060283122

(4 booktalks)

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 Booktalk #1

Alas, this is a tale about the three kind and resourceful, but very unlucky Baudelaire children. Fourteen-year-old Violet is quite an inventor; twelve-year-old Klaus is a voracious reader; and little baby Sunny has a nasty bite. The orphans use these traits to try to save their family fortune from the wicked count Olaf in whose care they have been placed. Count Olaf has an evil plan to trick Violet into marriage to gain control of the children's money. Will the children be able to escape from the cruel Count? This book is sad, scary, and funny, all at the same time. It is a real page-turner with a surprise ending. Once you've read this book you will want to read other books in the series, "A Series of Unfortunate Events."  (Jeannie Bellavance bellavance@erols.com for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)

Booktalk #2

Life had just gotten very bad for the Baudelaire children.  Once the three children had a mother and father who loved them.  They had a beautiful home and a great life.  In an instant, it was gone.  There was a fire in the mansion and their parents have perished.  Now the children will need to find a new home.  According to the executor of their parents' estate, the children must be raised by a relative within the city.  There is only one person who qualifies -- Count Olaf!  Now, the children have never heard of him and he has never visited their home.  And for good reason.  He is not the nicest person in the world.  As a matter of fact, he is down right evil.  What plans does he have for the children?  And how does the Baudelaire fortune figure into the plans?

Booktalk #3

The Baudelaire children are having an average day one of play and inventing until Mr. Poe brings news of their parents' death in a fire that has engulfed their mansion.  The children are orphaned and without a home in an instant!  They embark on a journey filled with twists and turns.  Full of scary people including a distant relative-Count Olaf.  Now what could be so scary about County Olaf?  Well for starters he has one long eyebrow and one eye tatooed on his ankle.  Eyes are carved all over the house, always watching as the Baudelaires live their miserable existence.  Count Olaf vows to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune.  What will he do?  Can they figure out his miserable plan?  Will the unfortunate events ever end?  Suffer the events with the Baudelaires and see if they can be rescued from Olaf's wrath.  (Elizabeth C. Ashley, ecalisusc@yahoo.com, Student, SLIS Program, USC, Columbia, SC)

Booktalk #4

            Unfortunately, this book is full of horrible events.  Just when you think things couldnít get worse for the Baudelaire children, they do!  First, they find out that their parents have died in a dreadful fire that also burned all their worldly possessions.  Then they are sent to live with a creepy relative named Count Olaf in a dusty, dirty mansion that has eyes carved or painted into all the walls, ceilings, and even the kitchen cabinets!
                    You might think that is all bad enough!  But unfortunately, itís just the beginning of the misery that fourteen year old Violet, twelve year old Klaus, and baby Sunny will endure in this tragic tale.  They are forced to share only one lumpy bed between them, and the only clothes they have are itchy and handmade.  Then they find out that Count Olaf is out to steal their inheritance!  
                  But even though the Baudelaire children are living a miserable and sad life, they stick together and use their cleverness to try to keep Count Olaf from getting all their money.  Will they succeed?  Will good triumph over evil?
                   The author of this dreadful tale, Lemony Snicket, advises you to put this book down at once and read something happy, if you like that sort of thing. Or maybe you want to know more, and you'll pick this book up at once and start reading!  Mr. Snicket has written eleven books about the Baudelaire children, and once you have read the first, you'll surely want to read the rest of the tales in A Series of Unfortunate Events!  (Jennifer Underhill, jenniferunderhill@yahoo.com, Master's Student at Florida State University)

Booktalk #4

            Unfortunately, this book is full of horrible events.  Just when you think things couldnít get worse for the Baudelaire children, they do!  First, they find out that their parents have died in a dreadful fire that also burned all their worldly possessions.  Then they are sent to live with a creepy relative named Count Olaf in a dusty, dirty mansion that has eyes carved or painted into all the walls, ceilings, and even the kitchen cabinets!
                    You might think that is all bad enough!  But unfortunately, itís just the beginning of the misery that fourteen year old Violet, twelve year old Klaus, and baby Sunny will endure in this tragic tale.  They are forced to share only one lumpy bed between them, and the only clothes they have are itchy and handmade.  Then they find out that Count Olaf is out to steal their inheritance!  
                  But even though the Baudelaire children are living a miserable and sad life, they stick together and use their cleverness to try to keep Count Olaf from getting all their money.  Will they succeed?  Will good triumph over evil?
                   The author of this dreadful tale, Lemony Snicket, advises you to put this book down at once and read something happy, if you like that sort of thing. Or maybe you want to know more, and you'll pick this book up at once and start reading!  Mr. Snicket has written eleven books about the Baudelaire children, and once you have read the first, you'll surely want to read the rest of the tales in A Series of Unfortunate Events!  (Jennifer Underhill, jenniferunderhill@yahoo.com, Master's Student at Florida State University)

SUBJECTS:      Orphans -- Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
                        Humorous stories

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