The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: March 7th, 2007
Genres: Middle Grade, Adventure, Science Fiction
Source: Borrowed from Library
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
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.
Right from the start, the book was extraordinarily clever. There were puzzles and puns scattered throughout. Each of the four protagonists were unique and realistic. Even though there were nearly 500 pages, the story was fast-paced and engaging, with several twists and turns.
However, it still has its flaws. The omniscient 3rd person narrative often switched between characters, which made reading awkward at times. Also, there were several situations that seemed too convenient for the protagonists. My biggest problem with the book was the gender dynamics – while there were several strong female characters, among the four protagonists, the boys (Reynie and Sticky) were the “smart” ones, while the girls (Kate and Constance) were more emotional.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and will be definitely reading the rest of the series.
Rating: 4 Bunnies