Dear Lemony Snicket,

Only when a clamshell opens up can you tell if there is a pearl inside. Like a clamshell, I opened up and found a valuable pearl within me after reading The Bad Beginning. This book transformed how I communicate with the world. Before, I was like a boarded up building and no one was able to get in. I was closed off from people around me and felt distant from everyone. Communication with the world was once something I felt was unnecessary, but after I read about the Baudelaires, I realized that my happiness was heavily influenced by my relationships with others, specifically my older brother.

In your book, the siblings work together like a single body. When Sunny was trapped at the top of a tower, Violet and Klaus had to do research to get her out. When they tried to escape Count Olaf the siblings worked together in order to succeed. This made me think about my relationship with my older brother, Jesse. Jesse and I are seven years apart, so apart that we acted more like enemies than siblings until I read you book. After reading your life changing novel, I realized how important family was to me and began to rebuild my relationship with him. For a change, we actually started talking to each other and by this I don’t mean hurling insults, but rather having real conversations. Though my brother and I had grown distant, this book inspired me to communicate more effectively through compassion and understanding.

In addition to enhancing my ability to communicate with my brother, the Baudelaires also taught me the value and importance of appreciation. In Count Olaf’s home, the Baudelaires were mistreated, however, they were still grateful for having a place to live. This made me think about my own life. The Baudelaires taught me how to appreciate my family and my friends who greatly cared about me. I compared my situation to that of the Baudelaires, and realized how lucky I am to have a loving family and safe place to live.

Lastly, the Baudelaire taught me how to help others. Violet is a good example of this, for she assists her younger siblings by translating words for Sunny. She also protects her younger siblings from Count Olaf’s clutches by making weird but useful inventions such as a makeshift harpoon gun to rescue Sunny out of a tall tower. Inspired by her actions, I have tried to become more helpful to others. For example, when I saw that one of my younger friends was being hurt by some other kids, I put an end to this bullying. Without Violet’s inspiration, I may have ignored the whole situation completely, but instead I stood up for him.

With the Baudelaires, you are able to teach your readers, including me, to see the world in a new way. Like a clamshell with a pearl inside, The Bad Beginning did the great task of opening up my heart and mind to new beliefs and ideas. It has enhanced my understanding and has allowed me to mature while building my relationship with others.

Best Regards,

Benjamin Hu

Page last modified: April 7, 2016