As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

April 3, 2014

THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart, 2008


"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. 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. 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? (Amazon)

Reviewed by Julie, Children's lit enthusiast and pop culture geek

A newspaper ad that reads "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" leads to a wild adventure for four children.  Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance, as the Mysterious Benedict Society, begin training in a special school under the watchful eye of Mr. Nicholas Benedict.  They must prepare to face Mr. Curtain, a super-villain who
plans to take over the world...but will four kids be powerful enough?

The first in a very successful series, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY values kid-power and intelligence in a manner reminiscent of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket, and Blue Balliett.  Teeming with puzzles and mystery, the book is part brain-teaser, part adventure novel.  The children are the heart and soul of the novel; each has a unique character, strengths, and weaknesses.  Children will enjoy choosing a

favorite, although each character has the opportunity to become a hero in this story filled with twists and turns.

Some readers may be daunted by the length of the novel (about 500 pages), but the plot is gripping enough to assuage such fears.  With easy and readable language, this series is likely to convert many non-readers!


Market: Middle grade fiction

Violence: Mild--mostly action/adventure-oriented chases, and the like.
Language: none
Sensuality: none
Adult Themes: friendships and family relationships, good vs. evil

1 comment:

Olive Kid said...

I loved this book! It was really awesome trying to solve all of the puzzles! My favourite character was Kate.