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The Mysterious Benedict Society

Cover of The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series, Book 1
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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.
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.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.6
  • Lexile:
    890
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series as well as Flood Summer, a novel for adults. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
    Carson Ellis received her BFA from the University of Montana and has established a loyal following for her artistic collaborations with the band the Decemberists. She lives in Portland , Oregon .
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books lionsrcute1 - This book brought back my love for reading. When four kids, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance try out for a test in a ad, they are the only ones who passed. It's like a Sherlock Holmes book for kids. AMAZING. At least, so far.... Well anyways, up to where I read, The 4 kids form their own group, because they have to work together to stop Mr.Curtain, someone who was evil from the Institute Here's a sample of the "tricks" they put in. My favorite part: CROSS THE ROOM WITHOUT SETTING FOOT ON A BLUE OR BLACK SQUARE. Reynie looked down. On the cement floor just inside the door, where he now stood, was a large red circle. On the other side of the room, by the opposite door, was another red circle. Between these circles the floor resembled a giant checkerboard, with alternating rectangles of blue, black, and yellow. Reynie studied the pattern. There was far more blue and black than yellow. So much more, in fact, that he soon realized it would be impossible to cross the room without stepping on blue or black. The yellow parts were so widely scattered that he doubted even a kangaroo could hop from one to the other. He looked at the sign again, and after a moment’s consideration, he laughed and shook his head. Then he strode confidently across the room, into the other red circle, and out the far door. Sticky and Milligan stood waiting for him beyond the door. They had been watching him secretly through tiny holes in the wall. Sticky looked confused and started to ask Reynie something, but Milligan shushed him. “You boys can watch, but you must be quiet,” he said. He went away to tell Kate it was her turn. Moments later they saw Kate step boldly into Room 7-B. After reading the sign, she studied the floor, considering whether she might manage to leap from yellow to yellow. At last she shook her head, rejecting the idea. Next she looked from one door to the other, gauging the distance. Then, taking the length of rope from her bucket, she fashioned a loop at the end, and with one expert throw lassoed the doorknob at the far side of the room. Fastening the other end to the doorknob behind her, she pulled the rope tight, knotted it securely, and climbed up. “Now, if I only had that paddle,” she said aloud to herself as she walked along the rope, “I could hold it out in front of me for balance.” Indeed, a paddle might have helped, for halfway across the room she nearly fell (the boys caught their breath), but after wobbling back and forth and wheeling her arms around, she recovered. After a few more careful steps, she hopped down into the other red circle. “Wow!” Sticky whispered. “She did it!” But before Kate could join the boys, Milligan appeared and took her back to the starting point to try again, this time without her rope, which he informed her would be returned upon completion of the test. “That’s hardly fair,” Sticky whispered. “Nobody told her she couldn’t use a rope.” Kate, meanwhile, was removing all the items from her bucket and stuffing them into her pockets. When she’d finished, her pockets bulging ridiculously, she unscrewed the handle from her bucket and tucked it through her belt. Then she was ready. Kicking the bucket onto its side, she hopped onto it and began rolling it forward with her feet, like a circus bear balancing on a ball. Rolling first this way, and then that, she zigzagged across the room to the other red circle. Reynie and Sticky looked at each other in awe. Who was this girl? Yet once again, as Kate reattached the bucket handle and emptied her pockets, Milligan entered the room. He returned her to the starting circle, this time taking away her bucket and tools, which she handed over with evident...
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 18, 2006
    Stewart's (Flood Summer
    , for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    , with puzzles within puzzles and tests within tests—some mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherall—all of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the "very, very small" Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readers—like the four children—may be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious "Sender," to brainwash the population via secret messages—delivered by children—embedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12.

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society Series, Book 1
Trenton Lee Stewart
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