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The Mysterious Benedict Society

February 17, 2009

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyWhere were books like this when I was a kid? There were more than a few really good books for children out there, but ever since Harry Potter hit the scene there has been an explosion of excellent fiction for kids. The Mysterious Benedict Society is one of those books.

Reynie Muldoon is an eleven year old orphan and social outcast. Known for being a pretty smart kid with a knack for solving puzzles, Reynie figures he has nothing to lose when he answers an add in the newspaper for children to take a test to receive “special opportunities.” After taking a series of strange and mysterious tests, Reynie finds himself in the home of Mr. Benedict, a narcoleptic scientist. Reynie, along with four other children, have all past the test. Katie Weatherall is a resourceful girl who can do just about anything with the various trinkets she carries around in a bucket. Sticky Washington is a rather intelligent kid, yet has more than one nervous habit. Then there is Constance, who’s only “special” talent seems to be her non-stop complaining. All these kids do have one thing in common – they are all alone in the world.

Mr. Benedict soon tells the children why they had to take all of those tests. The kids learn about the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, a home for boys and girls on an island in the town. Mr. Benedict has been following some very disturbing subliminal messages coming from the island and is afraid that they are starting to influence the people in the media and government. When local government officials start disappearing, Mr. Benedict knows that now is the time to find out what is really going on at the school. For this he needs super-talented kids to act as spies and soon all four children find themselves enrolled at the school.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart is one of those books that is too much fun to put down. I found myself staying up late to see how Reynie, Katie, Sticky and Constance worked together to solve the mystery of the subliminal messages. The characters begin to form a bond of friendship, something that they all lacked and find out that sometimes you need to rely on your friends when you are in a bind. There is plenty of action and puzzle-solving to keep a kid interested in the story. I also enjoyed the drawings by Carson Ellis at the beginning of each chapter. All in all, an enjoyable read, whether you are a young kid or an adult. The Mysterious Benedict Society is just plain old fun. Thanks goes to Sassymonkey who wrote a review for this book last year and led me to read it.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2009 12:08 pm

    Oh, wow! I want to read that. The cover is great too.

  2. February 17, 2009 12:13 pm

    I have been trying to get my son to read this one and he won’t. I should just pick it up for myself because it’s really “me” that wants to read it. LOL. Thanks for the review.

  3. February 17, 2009 3:30 pm

    Sounds like a book my daughter and I would enjoy. Great review!

  4. February 17, 2009 5:26 pm

    I certainly agree with your first two sentences! I did read some great fiction as a kid but there are so many coming out now that I would have just adored as a kid.

  5. February 17, 2009 7:57 pm

    Really great review…I think I have this book on my school library shelves..I’m going to have to read this!!

  6. February 17, 2009 11:32 pm

    I read this aloud to all four of my kids last year – we absolutely adored it! We’re in the middle of the sequel right now, and so far, it’s just as good.

  7. Donna permalink
    February 18, 2009 8:21 am

    I loved this book! In fact I bought both to donate to our school library.

  8. February 18, 2009 1:17 pm

    Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It is plain old fun isn’t it?

  9. February 18, 2009 11:07 pm

    I believe this book is currently Al Roker’s kid book club pick on the Today show. It looks very interesting, and I agree, I don’t remember there being so many great books out there when I was a kid!

  10. Cat permalink
    February 21, 2009 3:15 pm

    It was fun and I would have liked it a lot when I was a kid! I may or may not get the second one. I still have not decided, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I need it. 😉

    And hey, nice new look! 😉 I should step out of feed readers more often. *blush*

  11. February 21, 2009 11:22 pm

    …and your review led me to buy it today. I look forward to reading it.

  12. February 22, 2009 3:03 pm

    Thanks for leaving me a comment, Stephanie 🙂 I read so much from so many sources that I often forget where I get information from. “I read somewhere” that the movie rights to The Mysterious Benedict Society have been bought, but it will probably be awhile until production begins. Nice to look forward to, though!

  13. February 23, 2009 4:33 pm

    I loved this book too. I think I would’ve loved it even more, though, if I had discovered it as a kid.

  14. FishLover permalink
    October 2, 2009 11:32 am

    I LOVED this book! I can’t wait for the 3rd one to come out! I’m sure it will be just as good as the 1st and 2nd ones!

  15. Baconator24 permalink
    November 21, 2009 11:48 pm

    I can’t find the 3rd book in stores! Its flying off the shelves! I read the first book in a total of 5 hours and got sucked into the 2nd book too.My favorite character is George (Sticky) Washington! He’s awesome!!!!

  16. awesomebooks permalink
    November 22, 2009 5:02 pm

    this book rocks

  17. Alli permalink
    January 13, 2010 6:53 pm

    If you want to make the Mysterious Benedict Society a movie, join this group on facebook by June 1st this year : Petition to Make The Mysterious Benedict Society a Movie!

  18. March 10, 2010 1:03 am

    IS IT GOING TO BE A MOVIE???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. “NO WAY!” @ BEA part 1 « Stephanie’s Written Word

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