The Mysterious Benedict Society

Date finished: 6-9-08
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Category: Children’s (10-12)
Published: 2007
Pages: 485
Rating: 5/5

Basic Plot:
A classified ad in the paper is all it took to change Reynie Muldoon’s life forever. He shows up to take a mysterious test with odd questions and finds himself drafted with three other children into an undercover mission to save the world.

My assessment:
Oh my, how I love kids books!! The stories can be as fantastical as they want to be, and you still believe every word. This fabulous story gets a little out there at time, but at it’s core, it’s a story about what it means to be brave, what it means to be family and what it means to love the truth. There is plenty of action, and some truly lovely puzzles you can discuss with your young reader for some mind action as well. The story ends satisfactorily, but with a definite opening for a second book (which is out now – The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey).

Stewart’s foursome of children really do tackle some scary doings by the nefarious Mr. Curtain, and the story might get a little scary at times for younger ones. It would make a good read-aloud book (although it’s pretty long) and please boys and girls alike. The quartet has all the trait you’d expect – the leader, the rogue, the scaredy-cat and the obnoxious. Together, they make a good team, although it’s not until the end that they truly figure out the role of the obnoxious one!

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