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The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society #1)

by and

The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society #1) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 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.

Review:

"Stewart's (Flood Summer, for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: 'Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?' She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with puzzles within puzzles and tests within tests — some mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherall — all of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the 'very, very small' Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readers — like the four children — may be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious 'Sender,' to brainwash the population via secret messages — delivered by children — embedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure." School Library Journal

Review:

"With its lively style, fresh character portrayals, and well-timed revelations, this story flies past, thrilling us as it goes. Just be sure your flashlight batteries are well charged." Horn Book Magazine

Review:

"The characters are well developed, mostly appealing, and evenhanded. Ellis's line drawings add a crowning flair. Do not miss this one. Buy two copies because they will be needed." VOYA

Review:

"[A] feel-good story with a happy ending for the four orphaned and runaway children who find friendship and family." Children's Literature

Synopsis:

A first-time novelist takes readers on a dazzling adventure that puts friends, family, and foe to the test, as four children go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children can complete. Illustrations.

About the Author

Trenton Lee Stewart, graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of the adult novel Flood Summer, lives in Arkansas with his wife and two sons. This is his debut children's novel.

Carson Ellis received her BFA from the University of Montana and has established a loyal following for her artistic collaborations with the band the Decemberists. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

footel, November 26, 2010 (view all comments by footel)
Fantastically clever book. While reading, I tried imagining which character I was most like, and then the end had a surprise quiz. After answering the questions you could find out which character you would be.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Elizabeth L, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Elizabeth L)
This book manages to meet all of the conventions of successful YA novels without exceeding any of them. It wasn't clever enough, or gripping enough, or whimsical enough to sustain my interest or make me want to pick it up again after putting it down. I'm not compelled to pick up any of the sequels, though I would look for more of the illustrator's work were it to appear elsewhere.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Jonathan, January 7, 2009 (view all comments by Jonathan)
A terrific book for both adults and kids, particularly those who love puzzles. Four kids, each talented in different ways, find themselves fighting a sinister plot to take over the world. There are wonderful characters with quirky names, Morse code and secret messages, action and adventure, exits and entrances.

It's a hefty book but a fast read and I can't wait to share this with others.
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(7 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316057776
Author:
Trenton Lee Stewart and Carson Ellis
Publisher:
Little, Brown Young Readers
Illustrator:
Ellis, Carson
Author:
Stewart, Trenton Lee
Subject:
General
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Adventure and adventurers
Subject:
Schools
Subject:
Action & Adventure - General
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Children s-Adventure Stories
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Situations / Death & Dying
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series:
Mysterious Benedict Society
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 5
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
08-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Middle Readers » General

The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society #1) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Little, Brown Young Readers - English 9780316057776 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Stewart's (Flood Summer, for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: 'Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?' She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with puzzles within puzzles and tests within tests — some mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherall — all of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the 'very, very small' Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readers — like the four children — may be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious 'Sender,' to brainwash the population via secret messages — delivered by children — embedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure."
"Review" by , "With its lively style, fresh character portrayals, and well-timed revelations, this story flies past, thrilling us as it goes. Just be sure your flashlight batteries are well charged."
"Review" by , "The characters are well developed, mostly appealing, and evenhanded. Ellis's line drawings add a crowning flair. Do not miss this one. Buy two copies because they will be needed."
"Review" by , "[A] feel-good story with a happy ending for the four orphaned and runaway children who find friendship and family."
"Synopsis" by , A first-time novelist takes readers on a dazzling adventure that puts friends, family, and foe to the test, as four children go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children can complete. Illustrations.

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