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We’re on the 10th installment of Lemony Snicket’s thirteen woeful chronicles of Violet, Klaus, & Sunny Beaudelaire… and though the luck of the siblings indeed often seems dismal at best, we are still rooting for them and enjoying the literary journey regardless.

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As when we devoured the Harry Potter series last year, the girls are a book ahead reading independently while I also read aloud to the entire family. (“No spoilers!” is a daily lament.) At the advice of another homeschooler, we borrow three copies of each book from the library so my pupils can follow along while I read aloud, thereby improving their comprehension, focus, and vocabulary. Speaking of vocabulary, the etymologist* in me LOVES these tales for that very reason: The tongue-in-cheek trademark vocab lessons sprinkled throughout every chapter a highlight.

Though we already owned the film prior to reading the books (we are big Jim Carey fans and at one time owned nearly every film he starred in), the Netflix series with Doogie Howser Neil Patrick Harris only just released in Janurary– enabling us to watch each episode as we completed the book. (We’ve gained a good head start on the second season we’re now eagerly awaiting.)

So who wore it best? While I prefer Jim Carey’s Count Olaf, the Netflix series is more true to the Lemony original. Additionally, Patrick Warburton is positively perfect as the deadpan narrator (Snicket himself), stealing the show for me every time.

Tonight I mentioned to the kids that I was making pasta for dinner, and knowing that my pasta is always more of a puttanesca**, they suggested I force them to make it “Just like Count Olaf made the Beaudelaires!”

Embracing their zeal, I popped by the nearby corner market to acquire a “lemony” dessert of some sort, unfortunately lemonheads were all I could find. Anything to keep them excited about reading!

Be it as prairie-pioneers, Greek demigods, monarchs of wardrobe-realms, wizards, or a trio of ill-fated siblings, we tend to go “all in” when we immerse in a literary series… A Series of Unfortunate Events is proving no exception.

chewing bubble-gum while they work, as they do at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill (book #4)

*a word which here means dictionary-happy, perpetually-inquisitive word-nerd

**a word which here means (from the Italian) “whore’s” or “kitchen sink” pasta, chock-full of refrigerator scraps, especially capers or olives for a signature salty flavor

Related Links: Making a Bookworm – 10 Ways to Woo a Reluctant Reader, Potterheaded Muggles, A Very Bookish Holiday

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