Reynolds sixth-graders spend an afternoon with famous children's author Lemony Snicket

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Children's author Lemony Snicket stands on the lap of Walt Morey Middle School sixth grade teacher Cari Pierce during a raucous assembly at Reynolds Middle School on Thursday, Nov. 7.

Lemony Snicket, a.k.a. Daniel Handler, didn’t hold back.

“Thank you for leaving — I love it when you leave!” he told 800 Reynolds School District sixth-grade students as they left an assembly Thursday with the popular children’s author.

Snicket kept his audience members on their toes at Reynolds Middle School, bounding across the room, jumping into laps, pinning flowers in a teacher’s hair and instructing students to “em-PHA-size” words as they read out loud.

“Climb out the window in the bathroom and meet me in the alley behind this shop,” the students said with Snicket. “I will be waiting in the green roadster. You have five minutes.”

Snicket was touring the Portland area with his new book series, “All the Wrong Questions,” appearing at A Children’s Place bookstore and Powell’s Books.

He left his audience in stitches as he ran screaming out the back gym door and returned to bid them adieu.

Snicket, author of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and also a fictional character who appears in the book series, looked back on his younger years.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Author Lemony Snicket reads from his book during a Thursday afternoon assembly at Reynolds Middle School.

“I was shorter, reading a lot of books and telling jokes to avoid getting beaten up or suspended,” he said. “I attended Herbert Hoover Middle School, named after a man whose financial policies are widely regarded as reckless throughout history.”

Snicket said he draws his inspiration from real life and other books — “many books in particular.”

“I’m constantly reading and constantly on the lookout for startling ideas I could steal and transform into my own,” he said.

Snicket’s latest read was Matthew Rohrer’s “A Ship Loaded with Sequins has Gone Down.”

“Everyone seems charming,” Snicket said of his audience. “I didn’t get to have long conversations with all 800 of them, but my first impression was that they were charming.”

The assembly was arranged through A Children’s Place and Kevin O’Dea, program manager for elementary libraries in the Reynolds School District.

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