Oh, I see. Some of you haven't yet. Well, then, let's rectify, which here means fix or correct, the situation.
The melodramatic saga of the Baudelaire orphans begins in this book. They aren't actually orphans to begin with. That's the first bad thing that happens to them. The next is a direct result of the untimely death of their parents: they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a distant relative.
The Count does not, to say the very least, have their best interests at heart. In fact, he has quite a dastardly plan in store.
The children are saved -- barely -- through their own inventiveness and intelligence. Violet is a resourceful inventor, while Klaus is an intelligent and precocious child. The youngest, Sunny, likes to bite.
All the books in the series continue in this same vein -- bad things happen to the 3 orphans and they barely manage to save themselves.
That's one of the reasons so many kids say they like these books. They aren't full of magical solutions or happy-go-lucky stories. Instead, they are dark and kind of dreadful, but have 3 resourceful and brave characters at their heart.
Long live Lemony Snicket!