Lemony Snicket, Author
Back Cover: BEFORE YOU CONSIDER READING
“Who Could That Be at This Hour?”
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
1. Are you curious about what is happening in a seaside town that is no longer by the sea?”
2. Do you want to know more about a stolen item that wasn’t stolen at all?
3. So you really think that’s any of your business? Why? What kind of person are you? Are you sure?
4. Who is that standing behind you?
First Sentence: “There was a town, and there was a girl, and there was a theft.”
The back cover does an intriguing job letting you know what to expect between the pages of Lemony Snicket’s new series All the Wrong Questions. If you are a fan of his last Series of Unfortunate Events, you might also like this latest series.
All the Wrong Questions is Snicket’s mock-autobiography, beginning late in his twelfth year. During lunch with who may or may not be his parents, Snicket steps into the bathroom and climbs out the window. There is a helmet-wearing driver impatiently waiting in a roadster for Snicket. This impatient person is Snicket’s mentor, S. Theodora Markson. I suppose due to the fact that Snicket is only twelve, the mentor is called a chaperon, but Markson has no intention to watch over anyone.
The two are headed to Stain’d-by-the-Sea—which no longer is near a sea, nor a tourist town, nor a town with many people—to solve the mystery of a stolen statue, but, the Bombinating Beast may not be stolen. Eccentric folk, maybe ten total, populate the town. For instance, the taxi driver is actually pre-tween twins. (Say that three times fast. Go on, I dare ya’.) Pip steers the taxi and Squeak controls the pedals.
The illustrations are blue, black, and grey in color. They have a graphic novel look and add to the story. In fact, they may even be holding clues. Full Disclosure: this could be a rumor, possibly spread by the author, possibly not. I like the look. The illustrations add to the old-fashioned detective genre of this book. Many are multi-picture spreads that keep your eye busy yet delighted.
Do you remember the mythical sea creature whose body has the ability to curl up like a question mark? That creature is one of the references from Unfortunate Events. Unusual or interesting words are again defined, only it is the adult Markson who rattles off these definitions to a groaning Snicket. I like these little references to the Baudelaire’s story. What I like most is the innocence, intelligence, and good nature of Snicket as a kid. He actually seems normal. When he is quiet during the road trip, Markson asks why he is so reticent.
‘Reticent,’ “is a word which here means not talking enough.”
Snicket replies with the ‘oft used road trip phrase: “Are we there yet?”
All the Wrong Questions humor reminds me of Pink Panther’s klutzy Inspector Clouseau, , eccentric characters, snarky adults, and a Lemony Snicket child that is miles away from his adult self. The biggest question is what caused this drastic change in personality? How did he change from Mr. Do-Right to Mr. Do-Crazy-Wrong? Why was Snicket out of the secret spy agency? Is he really a thespian? Maybe these questions are all wrong, but I hope an answer can be found in one of the next three books.
All the Wrong Questions, Book 1: “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” will entertain boys and girls. One does not need to have read the initial thirteen volumes to understand what is going on it this prequel series. It does stand on its own, with its own unanswered questions to keep you guessing and waiting for the next volume. If you love Lemony Snicket, AKA Daniel Handler, you will love this new series. And the publisher is certain you will, too. The first printing, last October, was for one million hard cover books.
Read the first two chapters free, HERE!
Daniel Handler Interview, USA Today, HERE!
Lemony Snicket, author website facebook Seth, illustrator bio facebook Little, Brown Books for Young Readers website Released October 23, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-316-12308-2 Trailer 304 Pages Grades 4 to 7 Ages: 8 to 12 Copyright © 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Text: Copyright © 2012 by Lemony Snicket Illustrations: Copyright © 2012 by Seth
My first official published article in Reader’s Shadow Magazine, pgs. 36-37 HERE!
Quick Note About the Rating System
After looking at 2012’s statistics I realized that too many books received a 5 Star rating. That is not to say I erred. But those five stars, which symbolizes an outstanding, brilliant book, were given too freely. I think 5 star ratings are handed out without much thought on some blogs, review sites, and places like Amazon. Kid Lit Reviews is trying to aim higher.
This year the ratings are changing. Five stars will mean less here, but will not hurt an author when a review is published elsewhere. The top rating will be a 6. One extra star for the book that is brilliant in writing and story telling, whether a middle grade novel or a picture book. The system will stand as is, and the sixth star will be added. Getting a six will actually mean something. There will be more about this later.
6 = Brilliant
5 = Above Average, wonderful read
3 – 4 = Average, expected quality for a published book (where most ratings should fall)
2 = Good, but needs work in one or more areas
1 = Poor, should not have been published at this time, needs extensive work
0 = something I have never awarded and never will, the book will simply not be reviewed.