Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist, Michael Kupperman
This is the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. It is written in third person past tense, set in an unnamed country and an unnamed time, but with parallels to early twentieth century England or America. There are numerous fun things about this story but I most appreciated the way the narrator would define words and explain phrases that might be unfamiliar to the reader. IN this story three very bright children navigate their way around adults who are oblivious to their needs, or indifferent or malicious. Malicious is not related to delicious as you might think but means evil and up to no good.