THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart Book Review
Lately, I’ve been tackling a lot of those books that have gotten dusty on my to-read list. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart just happens to be another one….
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.
Out of the Mysterious Benedict Society, it’s hard to pick a favorite character. Each character just has a really cool attribute that’s just so different from the others. I love how Reynie is so clever and can solve any puzzle given to him. He can always read between the lines, and the conclusions that he comes up with always surprised me throughout the book. I love Sticky mostly because of his name. I don’t blame Constance, the messengers, and just about everyone else who gave him a hard time about his real name: George Washington. The teasing amused me to no end! I also loved Sticky because of his eidetic memory. It’s always something that I longed to have. Kate is a great female lead because she’s tough and clever. She’s not afraid to stand up and fight for what she believes in, and she can always come up with a great solution with something in her bucket! Lastly, I absolutely love Constance simply because, in Mr. Benedict’s own words, she is so gifted. (Explaining further would prove to be a spoiler!)
In terms of the writing, I think that The Mysterious Benedict Society is certainly a kid-friendly and fun read. It certainly sent my imagination hard at work. However, the book did not keep me on the edge of my seat. While I found it entertaining, it did not grip me as I thought it would. I would definitely recommend this to younger readers, but I don’t think all older readers will enjoy it as much. The Mysterious Benedict Society is a great middle-grade novel, but the fact that I did not enjoy is as much as I hoped really affects my rating.
I love the ending of the book. It just gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. I love that the ending was full of wonderful surprises about all the characters. I’m a sucker for good, happy endings, and this book did not disappoint. I don’t think I will continue on with the series though. I am happy and content with how the ending turned out, and I am really not itching to read further.