Summary: Reynie's life was about to change, all because of these nine words: "ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITES?" Before he knew it, Reynie was standing in a very long line of children all waiting to take that test, which led to another test, and then another, each more mysterious and puzzling than the last. But only four very special children succeed: Reynie, Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. They soon discover they've been selected to complete a secret mission that requires the intelligence and resourcefulness that they alone possess. It's a mission filled with mystery, excitement...and danger. Will they accept it? And more importantly, can they succeed if they do?
For Teachers and Librarians: Where to begin? First and foremost, The Mysterious Benedict Society is an excellent story - one that will grab and keep the attention of each of your students. There's something for everyone here: mystery, danger, action, good vs. evil, puzzles, problem-solving, humor...even poetry! Weaved throughout are larger issues about society, power and control, as well as more personal journeys related to self-confidence, self-doubt, inner strength, leadership, trust and friendship. You could branch out into so many different directions, it's mind-boggling. Pick up a copy for yourself and read it. And keep a notebook and pencil right beside you as you read - with the watershed of lesson ideas that will no doubt pour from your mind as you read, you'll be glad you did!
For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers: Author Trenton Lee Stewart said in an interview with KidsReads.com that the idea for The Mysterious Benedict Society came from his belief that "children are often seen, rarely heard, and always underestimated!" This is definitely a kid-power book. It will show your kids that they are important, and that they have great ideas that are worth listening to and acting upon. They will see that that with hard work and the help of friends and others who care about them, they can do almost anything. The story is action-packed, funny, serious, puzzling, mysterious, sometimes sad, and always surprising. The kids in this story learn a lot about themselves, the world they live in, and the adults who support them. What will your kids get from this story? The possibilities boggle the mind - so make sure to get a copy into their hands as soon as possible.
For the Kids: The world needs saving, but almost nobody knows it. Nobody, that is, except for four kids and the adults who brought them together. And get this: the only ones who can fix what's going wrong is the kids! There is so much in this book to like: a secret mission, snooping around for clues, solving riddles, even figuring out Morse Code. There is danger around every corner, but there's also help around every corner, too - if they can just solve the riddles to figure out what the help is. These are four kids who have the same feelings lots of kids have - they worry about their families, they worry about their friends, they get afraid, they wonder if they're good people and if they're strong enough or smart enough to do what has to be done. They laugh with each other, sometimes they get mad at each other, but they're always there for each other. So, can their friendship survive this most dangerous mission?
For Everyone Else: The Mysterious Benedict Society has a little bit of everything: mystery, action, poetry, humor, adventure, and an epic battle of good vs evil. There's so much to like here, and so many ways for you to identify with so many characters, you'll find it hard to put down...
Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Illustrator: Carson Ellis
Pages: 512 pages
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Publisher and Date: Little, Brown Young Readers, April 1, 2008
Published In: United States