A Series of Unfortunate Events & 2017: How I’m Using One to Inform the Other

By Portia Turner

When it was announced that Netflix was making a new series of A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the middle grade novels by Lemony Snicket, I decided that it was time to re-read the books.  I first read the series when they were being released, and so it has been an incredibly long time since I have entered the world of the Baudelaire children and the evil Count Olaf.  And, I have to say, these books are still as amazing as I remember them (which is good because I recommend them to children a lot).  Please do yourself a favor and re-read this series.  What is that you say?  You haven’t read them?  Well, get your butt away from whatever electronic device you are using to read this and get your hands on a copy of them!  Go!  Do it now!  I will wait.

Alright, now that we are all on the same page, I can get to my main point.  Re-reading these books following the terrible year that was 2016 and now being in 2017 where we may literally have to watch the world burn, I have decided something.  Every time I start to feel bad about myself or things that are happening in the world, I am going to think of the Baudelaire children.  Am I in a birdcage being dangled out of a high window by a crazy man?  No.  Did I just watch my guardian be pushed into a lake filled with leeches that are going to eat her alive?  No.  Do I have to worry about Count Olaf being around every turn?  No.  All of these, though, are things that the Baudelaire children have had to deal with.  Do they let this stop them from trying to survive and thrive?  Hell no!  They fight; and, while their lives may be a series of unfortunate events, they survive from one book to the next.  They don’t just sit by and let life beat them down.  They invent and read and chew on things to get things done!  And they are only children!  Fictional children, sure, but children none the less.  So, when I am feeling sad and powerless, I am going to think of these awesome children and follow their example.  I am going to get up and do something to fix the predicament (or at least work on fixing the problem).  If we all work together like the Baudelaire children do, we can escape our own series of unfortunate events.  This, at least, is the mindset I am going to try to use going into this New Year.

Plus, these books are filled with great pieces of advice by Lemony Snicket, such as, “If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your moth, particularly if the thing is cats” (The Wide Window, 102).  I plan on following his wise, wise words.


Happy 2017 everyone!