The Reptile Room

Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Brett Helquist

Reviewed by Desmond W. (age 9)

I am recommending the book The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Brett Helquist.

In The Reptile Room, the main characters are Violet, Klaus, Sunny Baudelaire. After fleeing from the house of Count Olaf they are taken to Uncle Monty's where all the action happens. Stephano mysteriously arrives after the Baudelaire children, claiming to be Uncle Monty's assistant, but the children recognize him as Count Olaf. Uncle Monty has planned an expedition to Peru and to wants to bring the children to help him find new reptiles for his fascinating reptile room. But Olaf wants the Baudelaire fortune, and he plans to come along to Peru. The children are threatened by Count Olaf and Klaus, Sunny, and Violet try to tell their uncle, but he insists Count Olaf is his innocent assistant and says Stephano must come. But after tragedy strikes, the three siblings must prove what really happened to their uncle before the fortune and their future is in Olaf's hands.

I liked this book because the Baudelaire kids always had a trick up their sleeves, like pretending Sunny was getting attacked by a supposedly poisonous snake, but she really wasn't. I also liked this book because there was a lot of suspense. When Violet was looking through Olaf's suitcase, Olaf spotted her from the reptile room, and she thought she was in for it. My heart was racing! I kept reading to find out what actually happened to Uncle Monty. I couldn't put the book down. My favorite part was when Mr. Poe was coming to get the luggage and the car crashed. I liked this part because it was funny to picture the look on Olaf's face when he was told they probably weren't going to make it to Peru in a broken car! As I read, I felt worried for the Baudelaire and angry at Olaf for being so mean and disguising himself, just to get a fortune. But I also felt very sad when the Baudelaires found out what had happened to Uncle Monty. This book is in a thirteen book series and is alike to the other books in this series because Olaf is always chasing Violet, Klaus, and Sunny and hatching evil plots to capture the fortune. He always wears a disguise and is kind to the Baudelaire's guardian, and then when their backs are turned, he is mean to the Baudelaire's. Then, he'll try to harm the guardian so he is in control. One character I found interesting was Count Olaf. This is because he was always is changing. He is nice one second and the next he is chasing the fortune down. He always has disguises and is trying to fit in. He cooks up evil plots and manages to track the Baudelaires down. But every time, the Baudelaires outsmart Olaf! I like Lemony Snicket's descriptions of Olaf too. I can really get a picture of the evil glint in his eye, his long, gangly feature, and his tattoo of an eye on his ankle. No matter what disguise he is wearing, by the author's descriptions, I can always tell it is Olaf, even before the Baudelaires figure it out. I can't wait to read the rest of the Unfortunate Events books, and can't wait to see what Olaf and the Baudelaires do next time!

I would recommend this book to kids in grades 4-6 and ages 9-12. If you are a mystery lover, there is not a better book for you! I cannot wait to see what else Olaf will cook up next!

Desmond W. is a student in Mr. Tobitsch's 4th Grade Class
2007-2008