A Parent’s Guide to The Carnivorous Carnival (Book)

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

The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)

Type: Adventure, Children’s

Basic Plot: The Baudelaires are now in disguise to hide from Count Olaf. With hope that one of their parents is still alive, they are trying to survive as they are surrounded by friends and enemies.


Plot: 4/5 Well Done: The plot was definitely interesting. The characters choices were in character and realistic. Some of the choices they made were bad, but you could definitely see that they would and why they would make them. The only con was that it was a little slower in developing than the last one without the suspense build up being as good.

Writing Style and Setup: 4/5 Well Done: The style was definitely satirical in this book. The author does several things that were humorous or sad or both at the same time. The details of the book to explain or describe situations were definitely what makes the style good.

Though Graphics: 4/5 Well Done: 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: 3/5 A Good Moral and More Coverage of an Ethical Dilemma: The moral that can be seen in this book is a good one. One of the new characters introduced in the book lives by the motto, “Give people what they want.” She is willing to do anything anyone ask, even if it is wrong, because she just wants to please everyone and not pick sides. She eventually dies because of her refusal to make a decision.

The book also covers more of the ethical dilemma mentioned in the last article, but I am saving the majority of this discussion for article twelve.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: The book was definitely recommendable in quality. I recommend it in quality for children of either gender of the age of eleven.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: People are kissed on the cheek and nose.

Violence: 2½/5 Mentioned and Non-Descriptive Violence: It discusses what part of an animal is the most violent and scary. There is “a painting of a lion chasing a… boy.” A boy worries about what will happen if they travel. People are described as “violent.” A carnival comes up with the idea of throwing people into a lion pit for entertainment. Several people want a person to be thrown to the lions and volunteer to throw someone in. Some children lie about their sister attacking them when they tease her, and say that the attacks resulted in scars. A person pretends to attack an audience for entertainment. A man threatens to hit people with a giant noodle. A man whips lions and at people. It hints that a man in a fairy tale was eaten by lions. It mentions some violent situations the children had escaped in previous books. A girl briefly remembers a sword fight she had. A woman wants some people to push a specific woman to the lions in exchange for a job. A woman and man fall into a pit of lions and are eaten, though it does not go into much, if any, detail.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 A Little Misuse: “Gosh” is used once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Slightly Emotional and Disturbing Content: It mentions in the dedication that a woman has died. It is mentioned that people died in previous books. Children are threatened. Some adults talk about wishing to kill and/or kidnap children. Animals have scars. Several people want to throw other people into a pit of lions for entertainment. Some children put fake scars on for a disguise. It mentions that a woman’s makeup looks like a bruise. A boy thinks that his sister, when she is in a certain costume, looked like she was eaten by animal. It mentions that a woman was in a “play about a murderer.” A carnival employs people with unusual body traits such as ambidexterity or having a humpback to be put on display. These people are mocked at and are later almost thrown to lions. The treatment of these people is greatly looked down on and made into a satire in the book.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Slight Mention: It mentions a rabbi.

Magic: 1½/5 Phony Magic: A woman claims to be a fortune teller and to be able to read a crystal ball. She is not actually able to tell peoples fortunes by using a crystal ball, but uses a non-magical way. The woman and her crystal ball are described throughout the book as “magic” and “magical” by people. It mentions vampires. “Ghost” is used as a description.

Others: People drink throughout the book. A man mentions there is wine in the trunk of a car. One of the disguises that one of the children tries is disguising as a wolf person, and they tell a man that the wolf-person came between a romance between a wolf and a human.

Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Ages Appropriate: This book is morally recommendable to almost all children. Violence is probably the most objectionable thing. Though violence does happen, it does not get into detail.

Here is a link to the tenth review:



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