Lemony Snicket,
A Series of Unfortunate Events,
#2: The Reptile Room

(HarperCollins, 1999)

The mysterious author with the citrusy name is certainly to be admired for his endless run of cleverness. Continuing the oh-so unlucky tale of the Baudelaire orphans with the same wickedly awful humor and page-turning plots, the no-more fortunate Lemony Snicket unceasingly contrives not only to entertain his young (and not-so-young) audiences, but also to teach them a bit here and there about language and semantics in an entirely nasty fun way.

In the second book, which follows The Bad Beginning, the orphans are removed from the care of the evil Count Olaf and placed with a formerly unknown uncle, Dr. Montgomery, whose specialty is snakes. Of course, Olaf doesn't give up so easily.

The popularity of this series in no way surprises and most definitely delights this cranky ol' children's librarian to no small end. Thank goodness Mr. Snicket is more prolific than the Potter Word-Wizard, so we, especially the 'tweeny-boppers among us, have some great reading while we wait.

There is much to recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a fun romp in the land of verbiage and a rollicking good read as well.

by Stephen Richmond
29 April 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.