Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure." School Library Journal
"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
"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
"[A] feel-good story with a happy ending for the four orphaned and runaway children who find friendship and family." Children's Literature
"Low in physical violence, while being rich in moral and ethical issues, as well as in appealingly complex characters and comedy sly and gross, this Lemony Snicket-style outing sprouts hooks for hearts and minds both..." Kirkus Reviews
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.
Read the Kids' Q&A with Trenton Lee Stewart