Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Children's Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict society is the tale of four children: Reynie, Constance, Sticky, and Kate. These four come together through a series of tests, for which they found an advertisement in the newspaper offering "special opportunities" for those who passed. The circumstances of the tests are quite mysterious, and they lead the children to come under the guidance of Mr. Benedict, a strange and fascinating man who offers them a part in a most important mission: saving the world from a dark and dangerous man and his sinister plan. The children are each brilliant in their own right, and volunteer to work as a team on behalf of Mr. Benedict. They are led to a prominent preparatory school on an island, in which they enroll as new students, expecting to complete their mission shortly and return to Mr. Benedict. They soon find out that the plans being hatched are far worse than they could have imagined, and that their fruition is imminent. The children must work together quickly, without arousing the suspicion of those on the island. They face many obstacles, the least of which is the alluring draw of offers to take part in the evil plan itself.

This is one of my all-time favorite children's series. There are three books and a prequel, and each one is as amusing and enthralling as the next. What makes the series special is that the children are brilliant for their age. They have all faced difficult childhoods and are independent beyond their years, which makes the book mature in both its themes and language and suits young readers who like to be challenged. This book was recommended to me by a little girl that I babysat many years ago, and I am so grateful that she showed it to me. Even in my second time reading it, I was enchanted by it. Each character has their own endearing quirks, and the villainous circumstances of the children's mission mirrors the very situations that we face in today's world. Definitely a must read for children {and adults} who love the work of Lemony Snicket, as well as those who seek a unique read. 

Bottom Line Rating: 5/5

Recommended for children grades 3-7

Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2007
ISBN: 0316057770
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.00
Source: Public Library
Genre: Children's Fiction
Book #60 of 2013

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