Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com
Ever heard of an automatic harmonica? Need to learn to pick a lock? Did you know there are 650 species of leeches? Fans of the Lemony Snicket series A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS will want to keep this unauthorized companion handy, and newcomers will find Gresh's "Ultimate Book Report about Lemony Snicket" (p. 192) a helpful resource when diving into the series for the first time.
Gresh's main goal appears to be to easily flow learning opportunities into The Truth without interrupting the reader's enjoyment. She accomplishes this by combining events from the series with academic enlightenment. For example, in Chapter Five, she references Book the Second, THE REPTILE ROOM, within a discussion of herpetology, frog facts, and a text-box entitled, "The Most Deadly Snakes in the World" (pp. 57-60). In another instance, Gresh references Count Olaf from the first book, THE BAD BEGINNING. She includes Count Olaf's attempt to trick fourteen-year-old Violet into marrying him without the young girl's knowledge in Chapter Eight, among details of legal marrying ages in not only states throughout the U.S., but also other countries, as well as text-boxes entitled "Marital Law in Ancient Rome" and "Marital Law in Ancient Greece" (pp. 105-8).
Overall, although unauthorized, the facts, insights, and quizzes offered by Gresh make the world of Lemony Snicket seem a bit less "unfortunate."