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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

The End is Here

Kid Reporter reviews the final “Unfortunate Event”

By Aaron Broder | October 13 , 2006

Book cover for The End
(Photo: Courtesy HarperCollins Children's Books)

October 13, 2006

Editor’s Note: The 13th—and final—book in “A Series of Unfortunate Events” hits bookstores today—Friday the 13th! To date, the series has reportedly sold more than 50 million books worldwide, despite author Lemony Snicket’s pleas that no one read his tales of misfortune.

If you are familiar with Snicket’s work, you will appreciate Kid Reporter Aaron Broder’s review. Either way, read on, tongue placed firmly in cheek—a phrase which here means “ironically or as a joke, as in making a facial expression produced by poking one's tongue in one's cheek, to keep from breaking into a smile.”


Dear Potential Reader,

It is with great regret that I inform you that The End, the next terrible book in Lemony Snicket’s “Series of Unfortunate Events,” has been released in bookstores everywhere. Though it should be of some reassurance that The End is indeed the end of this terrible series, it is filled with the lion’s share of woe of the books—a phrase that here means “filled with such misery that it is bound to leave the reader sobbing for days, despite how emotionally secure you may or may not be.”

It starts off with the Baudelaire orphans in the same spot they were in when The Penultimate Peril left off: a boat. From there, their misery only gets worse. During their harrowing journey, they discover many things, including an island, sheep, and a birdcage. Perhaps instead of reading this, you should take the advice given by Lemony Snicket at the beginning of this book and avoid it all together, maybe instead reading a more pleasant book.

It is true that Lemony Snicket has written wonderful prose, and is able to spice up some of the wretchedness with a dash of badinage—a phrase that here means “humorous conversation, but not nearly enough humor to offset the despair of the Baudelaire orphans”—but the discovery of many a terrible secret by the Baudelaire orphans is far too much competition for the humor that Mr. Snicket provides.

It is my sworn duty as a Scholastic Kids Reporter to review this book, chronicling the Baudelaire orphans’ journey, and soon I will be done. Hopefully, you have sworn no such oath, and thus can avoid this book completely, as Mr. Snicket advises, so that “The End does not finish you.” Now, wouldn’t you rather read something else?

With all due respect,

Aaron Broder


P.S. You may also want to avoid The Tragic Treasury: Songs From A Series of Unfortunate Events. This depressing collection of songs is played by The Gothic Archies, a band in which Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket’s handler, plays accordion. On this CD, you will find 15 songs: one for each book, and two extras, each and every one of which is more depressing than the last. Wouldn’t you rather listen to something else?

 

Critical Thinking Question

Read today's news story, and then answer the following question.


The End is Here

Why do you think Lemony Snicket warns people not to read his stories?


Join a discussion of this question on our bulletin board.

 

 

About the Author

Aaron Broder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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