Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Series: The Mysterious Benedict Society
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” ad attracts dozens for mind-bending tests readers may try. Only two boys and two girls succeed for a secret mission, undercover and underground into hidden tunnels. At the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, the only rule is – there are no rules.
I can proudly say that I have two points of views to offer for this book. The first time I read it, the series wasn’t a series yet. This was the only book published. I was a pre-teen when I first read it and let me tell you this- I was amazed! I mean here are children, not much of an age difference, going on this marvellous adventure…all because they were smart enough to. They got to train especially and were entrusted with a special mission. The responsibilities they held just wow!
I read this again when I bought it for my sister earlier this year. It took me a while after reading the book to look at it and genuinely consider whether or not it was worth that second read. I noticed things that had slipped past my younger self though. I noticed how all the kids chosen by the society might not be what we would call as smart in society today. They weren’t all educated formal, but they had the raw cunning and understanding needed to accomplish this mission.
There is also beautiful character development. The kids are, at the end of the day, kids. The more they are immersed into the situation, the more they learn to adapt and bend the rules in a way that very few adults are capable of. It’s amazing to see the children grow and their characters develop. Not in a way that is unnatural to the storyline, but in a very natural way considering their age.
This book is a beautiful read for most children. While adults and teenagers (or those that consider themselves too sophisticated in any way) might consider this a childish, extremely watered down read. Children all the way to teenage will enjoy this book and if you have a younger sibling or a daughter anywhere between the ages of 5-12, I would suggest reading it with them. The expressions on their faces as they read about what kids their age do is simply amazing. So take some time out of your busy lives that revolve around assignments, tests, projects, meetings, work, and school, and spend a couple quality hours with the little ones in your life reading this book with them. Be it at bedtime and a chapter a day, or the entire book read curled up in the sofa after lunch, it will be enjoyable at the very least. This book has the adventure, mystery, humour, and the plot twists needed to keep children entertained without exposing them to anything a parent would be upset about.
As always, comment below to tell me what you think and whether or not you’ll read it…or have read it