The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"

Reynie Muldoon, a bright and thus not particularly popular orphan, noticed this ad in the newspaper. Responding to the ad, he was set a series of very odd tests and puzzles, and eventually introduced to the mysterious Mr. Benedict and sent on a very important, very dangerous mission. There are three other kids: Sticky Washington, a very timid child with a literally encyclopedic knowledge; Kate Wetherall, a confident MacGyver-ish girl who was raised in a circus; and Constance Contraire, who (true to her name) is cantankerous and belligerent and just seems like a lot of trouble despite Mr. Benedict's assurances otherwise.

I first read of this book on the GeekDad website and was immediately intrigued. Then the book showed up in our library's rotating books and I snapped it up. I was not disappointed. The story is very quirky and Stewart has a lot of fun with the names (Jackson and Jillson, for example, or the lady who looks like a pencil and goes by the code name Number Two) but there's also a very good save-the-world plot. The book is written so that the reader can try to solve the various clues and riddles as the characters are figuring them out. They're not tremendously difficult for adults (most of them, anyway) but should be a lot of fun for younger readers.

It's a hefty book for the intended age group, but fast-paced and I didn't want to put it down. I understand there's a second book that was recently released, and I'm eager to read it when I get the chance.

Fed to jonathan's brain | January 06, 2009 | Comments (0)


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