As misfortune loves orphans and as fire loves innocence so do readers love the A Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket. The books document the trials and tribulations of the three Baudelaire children — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny — as they try to escape the horrific Count Olaf.
The series begins as the children become orphans. It then quickly comes to light that their guardian, Count Olaf, is a horrible man after their inheritance. Their journey through grief and navigating misfortunes is documented through 13 books that have a unique voice.
Snicket combines a gothic tone while seamlessly entwining tragedy and comedy. He also imbues a larger mystery throughout the series, which will keep readers glued to the page. The books have a sense of a whimsical fairy tale with an omniscient narrator.
Despite that whimsy, Snicket writes the adventures of the Baudelaire children and their journey with an intelligence that will appeal to readers of all ages.
A Series of Unfortunate Events Books in Publication Order
It is highly recommended that you read A Series of Unfortunate Events in publication order. The order of publication matches the chronological order of the series which reveals the primary antagonist and overarching mystery.
While you would be able to pick up any of the Series of Unfortunate Events books and understand the obstacles the Baudelaire children need to overcome in that particular book, the books greatly build upon the previous. Little by little more is revealed about their parents, which will greatly enhance your reading experience.
As well, if you do not read the books in order of publication, there will likely be spoilers for previous books. So, the best way to read these books is in publication order and you can watch the Baudelaire children grow and overcome obstacles in their path.
- The Bad Beginning (1999)
- The Reptile Room (1999)
- The Wide Window (2000)
- The Miserable Mill (2000)
- The Austere Academy (2000)
- The Ersatz Elevator (2001)
- The Vile Village (2001)
- The Hostile Hospital (2001)
- The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
- The Slippery Slope (2003)
- The Grim Grotto (2004)
- The Penultimate Peril (2005)
- The End (2006)
If you would like to read more mysterious children’s books with secret societies, you should read the 39 Clues Books in Order about Amy and Dan Cahill.