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The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society, Bk 1)
The Mysterious Benedict Society - Mysterious Benedict Society, Bk 1 Author:Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis (Illustrator) Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children-two boys and two girls-succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will... more » have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.« less
Barb F. (filiat5) reviewed The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 6
This book is a marvelous read aloud to elementary kids. Great moral lessons that you can extrapolate into exciting discussions. Some of the themes that you can pull from this book are: teamwork, patience, perseverance, ingenuity, just to name a few. My three boys sat spellbound as I read this to them. Definitely 5 stars!
Reynard (or Reynie, as he prefers to be called) Muldoon is not your average eleven-year-old boy. First of all, he lives in an orphanage where he is constantly teased by all the other children. Then there's the fact that he's a genius. He's so smart that he needs his own tutor, Ms. Perumal, who is really more of a friend to him. It's because of Ms. Perumal that Reynie happened to be reading the newspaper that held a one-of-a-kind advertisement. "Are You a Gifted Child Looking for Special Opportunities?" Not only does this advertisement catch Reynie's eye, but that of many young children. All of these children enroll to take several tests consisting of many brain teasers. Out of all the children, though, only four succeed, with Reynie being one of the four.
The children are all immediately drawn to each other. Not just because of their exceptional mental abilities, but also because they are all alone. Reynie, Kate, and Constance are all orphans, and Sticky has run away from a miserable home life. When they all finish with their tests they are led to a mysterious old house where they are introduced to Mr. Benedict. Mr. Benedict is an intriguing and incredibly smart man who has a secret mission for the children that only they can complete.
To fulfill their mission, the children must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. The headmaster of the school, Mr. Curtain, is up to no good, and it is up to the children to figure out what he is up to and hopefully stop him. It will be no easy feat, as the children will have to wrap their minds around puzzle after puzzle and face challenges that not even their wildest dreams could have ever created. With no choice but to turn to each other, the children embark on a journey that will forever change their lives.
I have heard nothing but good things about this book. Needless to say, I had high expectations for it. Overall, I really enjoyed THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, except I found that at times it was a bit lacking. First, I want to say that the author's writing style was marvelous. It definitely had the magic feeling that Roald Dahl put into his books that made them so wonderful. There was that extra umph to the book that made it quite enjoyable. Returning again to my reference of Roald Dahl, I felt like the adventure these kids went on was much like the adventure Charlie from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY went on, without the candy!
While the book is directed at a more middle grade audience, I still found myself enjoying the adventure and solving the riddles along with the children. Overall, I enjoyed the story and think it would be a great book for both reluctant readers and middle graders.
Jean G. (gianna) reviewed The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
Fabulous book. CD version also excellent. The narrator has a great voice for the story.
My children and I loved this one.
IF you were the "smart kid" in your class or family -- and an outsider because of that, you will especially like this book. The challenges in the first chapters are great. And the examples of how one meets and overcomes challenges are fabulous. I also liked the different kinds of intelligence that were modeled.
Overall, I liked it. I think comparisons to Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket are ambitious, but I enjoyed the story for the most part. Personally, I'm not sure it needs to become a series. I will read the next one just to see how it goes, but I'm not foreseeing an addiction. The children were cute and I liked their interactions with Mr. Benedict. Once they were away from him, however, I was no longer in love. I loved the selection process in the beginning and following along to see how the children solved the problems in their own ways. But, the second half of the book didn't really do much for me. As I said, however, I will give book 2 a chance even though I'm not sure it will be worth it. If you have an appropriately aged child in your life, however, by all means give this story a shot. It has enough adventure to keep a child interested and enough new vocabulary to make a parent or teacher feel good about them reading it.
Full of secret codes, puzzles and mysteries, "The Mysterious Benedict Society" is a book that will make you think. Full of puzzles and codes that you are given a chance to solve along with the characters. Humor is always there as well and you won't be able to put the book down until the end!
This book is about four gifted children. Reynard "Reynie" Muldoon is an orphan who not only knows his facts but can also think through puzzles in a snap. "Sticky" Washington is a runaway who remembers anything he's ever heard or read. Kate Wetherall is the muscle of the group. She likes action and adventure and is always prepared because she carries her bucket (filled with a lot of handy things) with her where ever she goes. Constance Contraire is the youngest of the group, and has a way with words (particularly putting words into insulting poems and songs on the spot), and although she is crabby and always complaining she is still an important part of the Mysterious Benedict Society (which is what the small group of misfits has called themselves).
Anyone of any age will love this book!