|The Mysterious Benedict Society
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"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society
As per my 10 year old Granddaughter, this book is awesome. She got so involved in it on the school bus ride home, that the kids had to yell her name to get her attention at her bus stop....more info
I am 11 years old, I thought this book was going to be boring, but by the time I read the first page, I loved it! Even though the book is large I read it swiftly. I am already on the second book which is just as good as the first... I highly recommend this book! Boys and Girls of all ages will love it!...more info
- A book for the geeky kids :-)
Have you ever found yourself feeling alone? Out of place? Too smart to be cool? If so, maybe you have what it takes to be a member of the Mysterious Benedict Society.
Reynie Muldoon is all of these things and more. When he answers an ad promising a special opportunity, little did Reynie realize that he would save the world - a task only children could accomplish!
I purchased this book (kindle edition) to read to my almost-10 year old son. Unfortunately, the long descriptions and slow pace seemed to thrill me more than him. As my son was adopted, I thought the premise would entice him (the children were all orphans or without parents) - and in that respect it really did (good for him to see it as a positive). However, I felt this book would capture the attention of kids that can relate to Reynie's feelings of being alone and "different" - and in that respect, I think it was speaking to my nerd-like bookworm tendencies. As a child, I would have loved this book for seeing brainiacs as the protagonists.
I felt the characters very believable and enjoyed their antics, especially Kate. While there is little action, there are some very tense moments that kept me on edge. And, it was (at least for me) a page turner. The feel good ending was a little too convenient, but there were some VERY surprising reveals.
If you have a boy's boy who tends to like dragon books and the like, maybe this is a pass. The lack of action seemed to be his complaint, although he said he liked it - just didn't love it. Otherwise, if you have a bookworm on your hands, it's a great read.
Note on the kindle edition: as of the date of this review, the code to figure out Mr. Benedict's first name is missing. ...more info
- Courtesy of Teens Read Too
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.
Reviewed by: Tasha...more info
- fun book for smart kids
bought this based on suggestion from amazon and after reading other reviews. christmas present for my 10 year old, she never heard of this book, but was into it right away and promptly asked for the sequel as soon as she finished...more info
- Overrated but kinda cute
I was excited to read this novel and share it with my 10 year old. We both came away disappointed. Although the kids always are in "danger" the book doesn't feel very exciting. The gifted kids, with the exception of Sticky, don't seem very gifted. The ending was a little too trite (even for my 10 year old). The pacing is uneven and the puzzles aren't very puzzling.
Its an OK book but definately not deserving of the hype....more info
- Superb Children's Book
While I am an adult and not chronologically a child (one could argue my outlook is somewhat childlike at times), I certainly enjoyed this book and think children would enjoy it as much if not more than I. It feels a bit like reading a Harry Potter book in that fantasy and real world happily combine. Highly recommended for all children and some adults, especially those who enjoy reading Harry Potter books....more info
- Can't MISS!
I bought this book on a whim to read out loud to my daughters, ages 8 and 6. I didn't anticipate how much I would enjoy it too! Both of my daughters are enthralled with it. Although it is a children's book, the language and concepts are quite advanced for my 6 and 8 year old. The author uses a brilliant strategy of having a younger child who often asks the very same questions that my children ask about big words or complex concepts. I've read many many many books to my children, and this one is their favorite by far!...more info
- My 13-year-old son asked me to read it...
... which hasn't happened since the Harry Potter series. So I read and enjoyed it! It's an adventure story, with clues uncovered, puzzles to solve, and danger. My son compared both the plot and the characters to Madeleine L'Engle's "Wrinkle in Time". I agree, although its plot isn't quite as... transcendental. My immediate response to the book was an appreciation for its definition of "genius". At the start of the story, our main character, an 11-year-old orphan boy who is ostracized by classmates because of his obvious intelligence, is being tested along with other kids in a search for children of exceptional brightness. Creatively unfolding for us, as we join the main character in his testing and as we meet those others who have passed, is that genius will be represented quite differently in each child. We end up with a team of four children who join a team of three adults, one of them is Mr. Benedict, so wildly described as to remind me of Roald Dahl, and whose most important trait is their strength of character. It is up to these children to stop the bad guy who has been sending subliminal messages (through television) and plans to make himself M.A.S.T.E.R. (Minister and Secretary of All the Earth's Regions)!...more info
- a minority opinion
I bought this book to read aloud to my eight-year-old son on the recommendation of our outstanding local bookshop. I am really surprised by the raves this book received. Its plot is bloated and the prose is in need of some serious editing. It almost seemed like the publisher believed it had a real blockbuster on its hands and failed to take the time to get a potentially great book ready for market. Instead the novel falls completely flat, lacking any dramatic tension or pace. I'm glad I only paid $6.99 for it....more info
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: A Kid's Review
The Mysterious Benedict Society is one of the best books I've ever read in my life. I really love mysteries, but this one was more of an action adventure. It was puzzling and the tension kept me reading for hours! I couldn't put it down! My parents had to make me close the book to eat!
It's about four kids named Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance who take special tests for advanced children. Once they've completed the tests, the four of them get challenged with a special mission to try to capture deceptive Mr. Curtin who is using high technology to brainwash people so that he can carry out his evil plot.
I would recommend this book to fifth through seventh graders, but some book-loving fourth graders might enjoy it....more info
- Great Book
I have been reading this at the local library. Though I have only read about 35 pages, it has been very entertaining. and although, one would sometimes be discouraged by the size of the book, it is a quick read....more info
- A Review for Adults Who Like Kids' Lit
I bought this for my son (who has yet to start it) and was surprised to find it was such a thick, detailed book. (I had been expecting something flimsy along the lines of a Lemony Snicket book.)
Parts of this book hew to Snicket (intrepid orphans in trouble); part to Harriet the Spy (girl who carries a lot of gadgets around); part to Harry Potter (kid who's good at figuring out puzzles) but in general this is a very good book. I have to say that for me, the "girl who is not Harriet" bothered me the most, because she was very intrepid with her gadgetry but otherwise a bit slow. The two boys are the smart ones. As a girl this bothers me (and also because my memories of Harriet are that she had a good brain).
Still, although some of the confusing points are grasped unreasonably quickly by the characters (IMHO) and some of the panic situations are dealt with calmly (almost lethargically) the characterization was good and has me looking forward to more volumes about the Mysterious Benedict Society....more info
- modern children's lit classic
File this under "I am a grown-up and I liked Harry Potter." Santa brought this for my not-quite 10 year old (who is currently reading another fave in children's literature, The Phantom Tollbooth), but as I like to read what he is reading (usually slightly before he reads it...) I picked it up over the weekend and read it cover to cover. Reminds me somewhat of Harry Potter, Phantom Tollbooth, the early books in Series of Unfortunate Events, and even some Roald Dahl and George Orwell... A modern classic in children's literature; it deserves a place on erudite children's bookshelves. It is somewhat long, and the size of the book may be somewhat intimidating for young readers, but this one was a joy to read. I found the character of Constance unbearable... until the end (no spoiler here), but otherwise identified with the other three young heroes of the book. If you have a child who loves to read, or if you WERE a child who loves to read, pick this one up. I think you'll be glad you did; I was!...more info
- Good enough but not compelling
When I was reading this book, I was expecting to give it a five-star review. The plot is interesting, the book paced so there is time for the reader to figure out the puzzles on her own should be so inclined (but not so stretched out as to drag the story). The characters are original and believable. It's a nice twist on books for younger readers set in schools. And there are some very powerful ideas played with in the book.
So why did I drop it to four stars? Because, much to my surprise, I have no desire to read the follow-on books. I can't say why exactly, although it's at least partly that the story is wound up very nicely, and I can't help but feel that further adventures will require mucking up that resolution. The other contributing factor, I think, is that some of the key characters (not the main group of children, but some of the adults around them) just left me sort of indifferent. In this sort of book, to hold my attention past the end of the first installment, the adults have to be as interesting to me as the children.
Anyway, there you have it: I liked this book a great deal, but find myself completely unmotivated to go on and read more of the series. ...more info
- Exciting! Intresting! Sure to pull you on!
I am 8, and in grade 3. My name is Lauren and I thought this book was great!
It gives a great ending to each chapter, and it kind of pulls you onto the next page. I was always getting out my flashlight to read some more at night after bed-time! For all you adventure-loving people, this is the book for you!
- A must read for young readers
Read a wonderful review on this book during a search for a book that stimulates a child's brain online for my son. I checked it out from my local library. As I start reading it I was not able to put it down for the next few days until I finished the book. I gave it to my son and try to stimulate his interest by telling bits and pieces of the book. It turns out he enjoyed it very much. He told his teacher about it and she got online and tries to check it out from the library but she has to wait for few months before she can read it. My son suggested that he is going to purchase it and give it to her teacher as a gift. I thought it was a wonderful idea. That is what we did. This book is full of adventures and mysteries and problem solving. It was hard to put it down because reader wants to know what happen next. It was an exciting and adventurous book for the whole family. We enjoyed very much....more info
- The most awesome book I've ever read!
This book was the best book I have ever read (besides a few books that came close). It was full of excitement and mystery. You will have to think to work out the answers to the puzzles that pop up in the lives of this daring group of kids, but it's well worth it!
Nikki from Beaky....more info
- Clever plot, lovable characters, great message -
I stumbled upon this novel while I was wondering through the children's section of my local bookstore looking for a gift for my nephew. Since he's only two, I couldn't justified buying it for him (yet), but it seemed intriguing enough to add to my pile. I'm really glad I made that decision because The Mysterious Benedict Society has the makings of another Potter-esque series for young adult readers and grown-ups alike.
Reynie Muldoon is a genius. At 11-years-old he's completed all of the required courses through the high school level and he's constantly on the lookout for new challenges. It's because of this that he answers a classified ad in the newspaper advertising special opportunities for gifted children. From there, he goes on to meet three other extraordinary young people and a back-up cast of talented adults, all dedicated to tracking down and stopping the source of "The Emergency".
This is a really thought-provoking story that doesn't take the intelligence of children for granted. In fact, it allows that intelligence to blossom through the insertion of subtle riddles and tests for the reader as you go along.
For adults, there are times when the answers to these riddles may seem obvious - When that happens, be sure to remind yourself that you are reading a children's book! It's easy to forget sometimes because the writing style pulls no punches and never "dumbs down" to accomodate a younger audience. Personally, I think this is great because I'm a complete advocate for challenging young minds.
The set-up of this story does take some time (the first 150 pages or so) and sometimes seems a little tedious when reading. It's because of this that I only awarded 4 stars, as opposed to 5. However, push through and you won't be sorry. I did and now I'm really looking forward to seeing what adventures lie in store for Reynie and the rest of the Mysterious Benedict Society....more info
- Can't put it down!
I read to my 5 children after dinner a couple of nights a week, and it is always a challenge to find something that will interest the whole family...they range in age from 7 up to 15 years old. I picked this book up and it was a smash hit! We didn't miss a day of reading until it was done, and they were ALL begging me to keep reading and asking for an extra chapter on Saturday afternoon. I actually had to hide the book to keep them from sneaking ahead. It is a great story with a lot of humor, mystery and even a bit of inspiration to be work hard, be honest, etc.
We went to the bookstore to pick up the sequel the day after we finished it! ...more info
- I love it!!!
This book is so intriguing and has a greatly crafted story. The book is so good that anyone who buys it may not speak for several days as they are so enthralled in reading it. ...more info
- The Mysterious benedict Society
I keep our 10 yr. old grandson supplied with books. He is a good reader, but loves to have me read to him when we are together. I started reading this in the car on a short trip, and by the time we arrived, my husband parked the car, and we all stayed in it until I had finished the chapter I was reading (my husband included, at age 72!). Tucker(our grandson) asked me to bring the book to school the next time I come to have lunch with him. We are all really enjoying this strange story with the most uneexpected twists! ...more info