This "woe-filled" collection of thirteen books about the tribulations of three unusually talented orphans will keep adults entertained as well as children. When I first saw the series I thought, "That looks too depressing," but soon I discovered the hilarity in overabundant alliteration, contemptible villains, and idiotic bystanders.
As the series progresses and the mysteries deepen, the children's characters grow and develop in surprising ways as togehter they face obstacles and a growing number of moral dilemmas in their search to understand the mysterious circumstances leading to the death of their parents.
For a children's series, Snicket incorporates a wealth of advanced vocabulary words and obvious literary devices in a way that makes them easy for young minds to grasp and appreciate. His use of language makes it especially fun (and sometimes difficult!)to read aloud together. [Here is a bonus: The cryptic author and illustrator bios in each book are almost as much fun as the stories themselves.]