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The Dark

Last updated Monday, September 26, 2016

Author: Lemony Snicket
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0316187488
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2016

Synopsis: Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn't come into Lazslo's room. But one night, it does. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. With emotional insight and poetic economy, two award-winning talents team up to conquer a universal childhood fear.

Note to readers:
•  If the story is too scary for any of the kids in your group, you can skip to the end to show that the dark is leading the boy to find a light bulb (spoiler).

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think the boy on the cover is thinking?
•  Do you think he is afraid of the dark?
•  Are you afraid of the dark?


•  creaky - (of an object, typically a wooden one) making or liable to make a harsh, high-pitched sound when being moved or when pressure or weight is applied: "I climbed the creaky stairs"

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where in Laszlo's house was "the dark" most of the time? (mostly it spent its time in the basement)
•  Why did Laszlo want to visit "the dark" in the basement?
•  Do you try to avoid dark places?
•  What can you do to make it light instead of dark?
•  See examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/october-2016-crafts/

Craft ideas:
•  Use dark paper as a background, then add cut out shapes to make a bedroom. Include a bed, yourself, some other favorite things like books, and of course a nightlight on the wall (use light yellow or white).
•  Draw a picture of what you think "the dark" looks like in the light.
•  Draw a scary pumpkin for Halloween to hang in your home.
•  See examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/october-2016-crafts/

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!