During summer school, I had two “regulars” come in daily for new books. Both girls are voracious readers, but a little picky. They prefer adventure stories, but nothing to scary, and absolutely no Harry Potter or Narnia. (“I hate them,” MH told me confidently. Ouch.)
The great thing about summer school is a more relaxed pace, a shorter school day, and fewer students, so I had the time to really devote to digging through the shelves for missed or forgotten gems for these two girls. MH dove right into A Series of Unfortunate Events, taking them out two or three at a time, and they made up five of the ten books she was allowed to take home during the week between summer school and back-to-school.
When MH picked up The End, she confided in me that she was sad that the series would be over. I told her about my habit as a reader of putting off the last book as long as possible. I told her about The Magician’s Land, and how I was going to reread the other two books in the trilogy first, and about how I owned a copy TSUBASA: RESERvoir CHRoNiCLE, volume 29 for well over a year before I could bring myself to read it.
MH said she was too nervous to find out what happens to the Baudelaire orphans to wait that long. She told me she hoped they had a happy ending.
I read the first few of the series, so I asked her what she thought would be Violet’s happy ending (“a famous inventor”), or Klaus’s (“an author”), or Sunny’s (“I think she’s a werewolf”). I asked her to tell me a bit more about that, and MH explained that because of Sunny’s very sharp and incredibly strong teeth, perhaps she might be a werewolf, which I thought was ridiculously clever.
MH was still disappointed that the series had to end, so I suggested that, should she finish the series before she starts fifth grade next week, she write her own stories about what happens to the Baudelaire orphans. I asked if she would let me read them.
I’m no longer a big fanfic reader or writer, but I do still dabble, and it was one of my favorite things during middle and high school and into university. My roommate and I met when she overheard me discussing Harry Potter fanfiction before HIST210: Japanese Civilization in the first week of freshman year. Fanfic isn’t for everyone, but for some students, it’s a way into writing – and for some readers it’s way to stay connected with their favorite stories and characters after The End.