Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Synopsis: “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful 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. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Spoiler Free Review
This was a reread for me and I fell in love with this book and the characters all over again. I had so many memories that resurfaced while rereading this book. I was surprised that there were somethings that I remembered and some things that I didn’t because I usually have a good memory on what happens in books, although it had been a number of years so it does make sense aha.
This book follows four kids as they embark on a dangerous and secret mission. Each of these kids are gifted in their own way and it was really cool to see each of them use their giftedness in a way that helps the mission. An ad is placed in the newspaper that is directed at kids who believe themselves to be gifted. Reynie, Kate, Constance, and Sticky all come across this ad and all take the test. Each one advance until they have all completed the many tests, and so the Mysterious Benedict Society was formed. The kids are brought together and sent on a mission to figure out what is happening inside an Institute on the nearby island. Throughout the book the four kids are put through tests that will test their knowledge and their strengths all in the hope of saving the world.
My favorite part of this book was the characters. All the main characters are kids, with the oldest being 12 and this made for a very entertaining book! Sometimes I had to remind myself these were kids because of how they handled certain situations because if I was them I would of for sure handled it in a much worse way. These characters had a depth that I wasn’t quite expecting to see if I’m being honest. Though the book mainly takes place through Reynie’s perspective, because it is in third person and switches perspective from time to time, it really allowed for readers to see into the characters and get to know the characters.
I really liked the plot. There wasn’t ever a dull point in this book and every part was engaging. The whole reason behind the mission seemed complicated and I was worried that I wasn’t going to understand it and if I didn’t understand it then the intended audience definitely wouldn’t understand it. However that wasn’t the case and although it does seem complicated, the author does a good job of explaining it to where it is easy to understand. There were twists in this book that I definitely did not see coming, especially in the end! The ending was one of my favorite parts and I was just smiling the whole way through.
I liked the writing in this book. It is pretty simple and not overly descriptive which I liked. I wouldn’t say the writing is over the top amazing or anything but I liked it and felt it suited the book well.
This was a very enjoyable book to read and I enjoyed myself the whole way. The mystery was fun and intriguing and it was fun solving all the puzzles alongside the kids. I loved all the characters in this book and the depth they had. If your looking for a middle grade book to read then I highly recommend this one!!