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The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series
Trenton Lee Stewart

Little, Brown (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-316-00395-6 (0316003956)
ISBN-13: 978-0-316-00395-7 (9780316003957)
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $6.99

Review: Are you looking for a book with an exciting mystery that you can help solve? If so, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart may be a great book for you. This adventure-filled mystery will take you on a mind-bending journey with orphan Reynie Muldoon as he meets new friends, makes risky decisions, and outsmarts enemies. This is the first book of The Mysterious Benedict Society series. Due to the size and vocabulary used, I would recommend this book for middle school students and older.

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this question catches Reynie's eye in a local newspaper at his orphanage, he instantly decides this could be a chance to improve his lonely life. After successfully enduring a series of challenging tests, Reynie is chosen to advance to the final phase at the home of Mr. Benedict. There he meets up with 3 other gifted children who were also successful. George “Sticky” Washington is a very intelligent kid who remembers everything he learns. Kate Whetherall is a witty kid who is gifted in physical acts and always carries her bucket of tools along with her. Constance Contraire is a stubborn but humorous child who the other 3 children can’t figure out. After a final test, Mr. Benedict, enlists the four children to complete the dangerous task of saving the world from being brain swept. He sends them to pose as students at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened on Nomansan Island. While working as undercover spies, the four kids use all of their unique talents as they problem-solve, understand complicated puzzles, perform dangerous stunts, and send and receive messages in Morse code.

This book is a very fun adventure that I think almost anyone can enjoy. The novel was very well written and kept making me want to read more and more. I think that most people could relate to the characters in this book. Despite this books size (485 pages) I think it was one of the best books I have ever read because of the way the author made me feel like I know the characters and let me feel their emotions. I really felt like I got to know each character and they became my friends. I loved the way the author made me feel like I was a part of The Mysterious Benedict Society. The author taught me Morse code and I was able to participate in solving the mystery. This book made me think and was very enjoyable to me because of the suspense that built up throughout it. This book showed me that kids can make a difference. I just can’t wait to read the second book The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.

This book has received many awards including,
• Best Book of the year in 2007
• Book links lasting connections in 2007
• Best Book for middle readers in 2007
• Bulletin Blue ribbons book of the year for 2007
• Best book for ages 9-12 in 2007
• Notable children’s books 2008
• Top Shelf Fiction for Middle readers for 2008

Review written by Kathleen, Grade 6. Date of review: October 2008.