The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (Paperback) Book 1
"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.
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Reading Level: 10-12
I read to my two sons, age 8 and 9 every night. I was looking for something just a little bit different. Typically they like illustrations to flesh out the narrative, like in the Moomintroll books or Here Be Monsters. The Mysterious Benedict Society is not (alas!) profusely illustrated so when we started it they sort of passively lay back in their beds to listen. By about the 4th page they were sitting up and by the end of the first chapter they were draped over my shoulders reading the pages with me. This book is absolutely captivating for young kids! We would pause while reading to see if we could work out what would happen next or how a knotty problem was overcome; my sons were absorbecd from beginning to end. Children can easily see themselves as the protagonists amd they love to try to figure out the puzzles. Mr. Stewart wants you to try to solve the mysteries with his characters and his writing sparkles with wit and humor. I certainly hope he has more childrens' books for us in the future. Highly recommended!
My 17 year old daughter recommended this as a bedtime story for my younger girls. My 8 and 9 year old daughters loved listening to me read this book. They didn't want me to stop each night and begged me to keep reading. I highly recommend it.
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