A Parent’s Guide to The Vile Village (Book)

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)

Type: Adventure, Contemporary

Basic Plot: The Baudelaires are now living in a village with a kind man named Hector. As kind as Hector is though, the Baudelaires will not be at peace until they rescue the Quagmires, who are leaving them clues about where they are.


Plot: 4/5 Well Done: The plot is still focused on the Baudelaires trying to escape Count Olaf, but is focusing more and more on the themes of rescuing the Quagmires and figuring out what V. F. D. is. This will continue more and more throughout the series. There were also a lot more exciting scenes in this book compared to the other ones. Hector and several other characters in the book were as creative as the other ones in the series are.

Writing Style and Setup: 4/5 Well Done: The author writes in the creative style of the other books, using a dark, humorous style. The story moved at a fast pace. This allowed for there to be more body to the story, I believe.

Graphics: The graphics were done in the same style as the ones in the previous book, pencil sketches. They were again scattered with clues about what would and will happen.

Moral: 2/5 A Vague, Mostly Good Moral: The moral of supporting each other as siblings is again seen in the end, though it is not spelled out clearly throughout the book. “You’re Parents Are Dumb and You’re Neighbor’s Evil” is actually not as strong in this one. The main adult who cares for them believes them, is supportive, and eventually overcomes his fears, but in the end he still does not help the Baudelaires directly (though he does help some other orphans.) This was nice, as most of the books show all adults that aren’t evil as extremely stupid.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: This stepping stone in the series was done better than the previous two. I recommend it for ages eleven to twelve and older for children of either gender.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None

Violence: ½/5 Slight Violence: It mentions a person can get their toes stepped on while sitting on the edge of a seat on a bus. It mentions that a man was murdered, and a child is accused of biting him to death, though she didn’t. A man kicks an old man away. A harpoon hits a crow. A girl bites a boy’s hand but as a sign of affection rather than violence.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Some Possibly Disturbing Content: Getting attacked by dogs is compared to walking in the rain. It mentions a man “swallowed a box of thumbtacks.” The people of the village punish criminals by burning them at the stake. Several people are threatened with this punishment, but no one dies this way. A mob chases some children threw a town. Children are threatened throughout the book. It mentions a child may fall in a well and that hyenas may eat you, the latter being described as “bloodthirsty.” While describing what a murder of crows it, it mentions that no “crows” were “killed.” While describing the phrase “a bolt from the blue,” it describes actually getting hit by lightning. The children fall to the ground and hurt themselves, two of them being lightly injured. A brick falls on someone’s toe.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Slight Mention: The phrase “deus ex machine” is used throughout the book.

Magic: ½/5 Slight Mention: There is a book called The Littlest Elf, and it is set in fairyland. It describes two people as looking like “monsters.”

Others: None

Overall: 1/5 All Ages Appropriate: This book is recommendable morally for all ages.

Here is a link to the eight review:



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