Middle Grade Monday – for the Love of Lemony Snicket
One of my favorite middle grade authors, Lemony Snicket (sometimes referred to by his real world pseudonym, Daniel Handler) is as genius as he is prolific. I was a huge fan of The Series of Unfortunate Events books (except for The End.) I even hosted an after school event based on the series where one of the activities was a temporary tattoo station where students could get a VFD eye tattoo on their left ankle.
So, it should come as no surprise that I was overjoyed to find that he was writing a prequel series focused on the teen years of Lemony Snicket and giving the background to how he came to be the narrator of the Beaudelaire childrens’ story.
It all begins with 13 year old Lemony Snicket escaping through the back window in the bathroom of a cafe to start his ‘apprenticeship.’ We quickly learn where he picked up his quirk of defining the unusual words he uses. The book is filled with his trademark wry and melacholic humor, sure to be a favorite with his fans.
On a more personal note, I was fortunate enough to see Daniel Handler speak at my local bookstore on his promotional tour for Why We Broke Up. He is just as engaging of a speaker as you would expect, and he paid special attention to all of the youngsters in the audience, spending extra time engaging with them in the signing line. One of my favorite online librarians (@MrsFridayNext on Twitter) refers to Daniel Handler as her ‘imaginary boyfriend’. I can certainly see why.
If you’ve never ventured into the world of Lemony Snicket, I highly recommend doing so. Start with The Bad Beginning (the initial book in the Baudelaire childrens’ saga) or with Who Could That Be at This Hour. Both are equally charming. I also highly recommend visiting his web site.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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