Monday, April 27, 2009

The Mysterious Benedict Society

This was a guilty pleasure book - I bought a copy of it when I was also buying it for my sister's birthday.  I had heard such great things, and it was a very good price, so I couldn't pass it by.  I love it when my gut instinct is so rewarding.

This is a book about gifted children who go through a series of tests without really knowing what is in store.  Eventually, the candidates are dwindled down to four and the adventure starts.  There is a girl who always carries a bucket full of miscellaneous objects with her, a boy with a photographic memory, a boy who is exceptional at solving riddles and puzzles and a girl who seems to just be a royal pain to everyone.  They finally meet Mr. Benedict, the man who created the tests and discover they have a huge responsibility to stop the actions of some unknown leader who is trying to create chaos in an effort to gain amazing power.

This is a children's book by subject, cleanliness of topic and interest to children and the plot moves very quickly with just enough detail but never more than necessary; however, I imagine there are very few children in elementary who would enjoy it as much as they could because of the length (485 pages) (granted, my nephew Ryan would probably plow through it with astonishing speed, but I think he is a superbly more gifted reader than most his age).  Amazon and I both put this book reading level at 5th grade or up and it would probably be a great read-aloud for 3rd or up.  Adults will enjoy this tremendously - I had tons of fun reading it.  I'm hoping to get to the sequel this summer.  


Janyece said...

I can't wait to read this one. It sounds so fun! It's on my list. I can't wait for summer so I can start tackling it!

Daniel B. said...

We picked this one up before reading, too, and were glad to have found a good read. My only criticisms, with this and the sequel? It dragged a little at spots, especially near the end of the second book, and the characters were caricatured more dramatically than I think is credible.

That's an enjoyable read.

Those at whom this book is aimed might also enjoy Rick Riordon's "Percy Jackson" series, too.

Harmony said...

Thanks for the recommendation Tash. Keep 'em coming. I'm going to need a good long list to keep my boys busy through the summer. Time to start gearing myself up for it.