All the Wrong Questions: “Who Could That Be at This Hour?”
by Lemony Snicket (hardcover)
AR Level 5.5, 6 points
I am a huge fan of Lemony Snicket. If I had to compare, he would be my Johnny Depp of authors. Meaning, I’m a fangirl and would probably squeal like a sixth grader at a One Direction concert if I ever actually got to meet him. Hopefully, if I ever do get the pleasure, I’ll show some restraint as not to embarrass myself TOO much.
I have been recommending A Series of Unfortunate Events to my students for many years. I usually read “The Bad Beginning” to my class and then let the awesome writing take over, and I don’t see any of my books until the end of the year when they have to turn them in (begrudgingly). So when I found out (from a former student, no less) that he was coming out with a prequel, I was, of course, excited.
“Who Could That Be at This Hour?” is book one, and the main character is an adolescent Lemony Snicket. We follow him as he starts out his apprenticeship solving the case of the Bombinating Beast in a town called Stain’d by the Sea. He proves, of course, to be smarter than his chaperone. Just like ASOUE, we are left hanging at the end of the novel. The problem is somewhat resolved, but the villain is still out for the capture, and we look forward to his next chance.
What I loved about this book: Besides Snicket’s wit (the cab drivers work for tips, but instead of money, he gives them book recommendations and bits of advice), his strong adolescent characters (himself, being one of them), and his vocabulary mini-lessons, his use of figurative language makes me want to reread paragraphs over and over to my students just to say, “This is how you use figurative language!”
What I didn’t love about this book: It made me feel a little lonely. Maybe I’m used to ASOUE where there are 3 orphans to keep each other company. I felt like his characters are always so well-developed, maybe they just weren’t as “meaty” in this one. However, that will not deter me from picking up the next book! I look forward to reading the next book, if I can hold off until this weekend.
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