Monday, September 15, 2014

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart


Reynie Muldoon is an orphan and a kid genius. When he sees a newspaper advertisement needing gifted children for a special study, he decides to answer it. After completing several odd mental and physical tests, four children remain: Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance. The man behind the strange study is Mr. Benedict. He created the odd tests to find extraordinary children who could successfully infiltrate a secret boarding school run by the evil Mr. Curtain. Mr. Benedict has information that Mr. Curtain created a mind-controlling machine—the Whisperer—that can wipe away any person’s memories. After rigorous training with Mr. Benedict, the four children form a strong friendship and are soon enrolled into Mr. Curtain’s school. It’s up to their combined mental and physical efforts to sabotage the Whisperer and Mr. Curtain’s evil plans without revealing their connection with Mr. Benedict.

Stewart’s book is a refreshing read that has an intriguing plot, page-turning suspense, and consistent character development. The characters of Reynie, Kate, Sticky, Constance, and Mr. Benedict are lovable, intelligent, and identifiable to any reader. Through Reynie’s reflections, many wonderful life lessons are realized like the meaning of friendship, the importance of family, and the truth behind enemies. Readers will be put to the test, as they solve complex riddles and Morse code messages along with Reynie and his friends. This is the first book of a four part series. The second book in the series is The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.

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