The novel The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stuart, engages both the imagination and the brain as it shows the power of the media and education. Bored with his life, the lead character, Reynie Muldoon, answers an add for gifted children looking for special opportunities. He meets several unique children that are trained to infiltrate the school of a criminal mastermind trying to take over the world.
At first, Reynie is lonely and doesn’t have any friends. He and the three other children he meets, Kate, Constance, and Sticky, all have brainpower in different areas. Their special abilities have made them loners in the outside world, so it is difficult for them to make friends. Initially distrustful of the complex testing procedure and the others, Reynie tries to remain aloof.
It doesn’t take long for the four to become friends and form the Mysterious Benedict Society. As a reader of this book, you are able to follow these four children and pit your wits against theirs as they solve puzzles and decide what to do. The criminal mastermind, Mr. Curtain, is using the power of media slogans to control the minds of the public, and the Mysterious Benedict Society is in a great deal of danger trying to stop him.
This book is challenging to read, even if you don’t try to figure out the clues before the characters. The unique characters and villains are a treat, though, and it is a very interesting read. When I finished, I immediately wanted to start book two, and that’s a good sign!
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The Mysterious Benedict Society was one of our top books in Novel Madness 2013. Here is the persuasive essay from Arnav and Cindy:
You’ve only read a few pages of the book, but it has already come alive in your thoughts. You are the main character now and are walking with a teacher down the block. Suddenly your eye catches on a dull, gray sign that says, “ Are you a child with special abilities to be shown? There will be a test for the very enlightened on this Saturday. Anyone can take it.” The Mysterious Benedict Society is a great series of adventure and friendship. Even though a few people in this class may think that other books are great entertainment, The Mysterious Benedict Societyis a wonderfully well written. It has great characters, is educational, and a great hooking book to read in your free time.
Even though some people may think that a book with a childish cover may mean a childish book, The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, has great characters with catching plot. What if you were a child with great potential in mental and physical problem solving? The story starts with a wonderfully intelligent boy who attends a test for the very wise. The story has a creatively smart villain who has a sickness called narcolepsy. Because of this sickness, evil Mr. Curtain falls asleep every time he gets angry, and he gets angry often. Another character is Constance who is very stubborn. But in the end, Constance is the one who defeats Mr. Curtain’s evil invention, the Whisperer.
Even though a few people in this class seem to think that a hooking book needs a good book summary and cover, The Mysterious Benedict Society is addicting according to the plot. The action in the story is incredible and hooks the reader’s nose to the book. The author weaves laser and dart guns into the surprisingly funny fights against the good and bad. The villain’s evil helpers, the “ Ten Men”, carry super sharp pencils as weapons they throw at The Benedict Society. One day, before I was sent to bed, I read the first few chapters of the first book of where a girl drops her pencil into the sewer and asks the main character for help. It was so well written that I dreamed the next part at night. The author also slips in lots of mysteriously hilarious moments. Kate, one character, was spying on the villain. A messenger saw her, and she stepped on the messenger’s licorice while escaping in the darkness. The next day, the messengers searched everyone’s hands for the licorice, and Constance was the last one with it, so she ate it.
Although a few people might think that child books are only for entertainment, The Mysterious Benedict Society shows a lot of education. In the text, Trenton Lee Stewart uses a lot of long words to describe and show settings. The author described that the evil inventor’s academy was on an isolated island with lots of kinds of dormitories. Then, he described an isolated watch town, where I guessed the evil mastermind worked. The fourth Benedict Society book has lots of puzzles, and riddles. This explained the problems the main characters had to solve in the book. The main characters have to solve problems that took days to figure out. This would let the reader have time to solve them as well.
You are back to the book now, and you’ve brought a pencil to the test. Suddenly, a girl comes up to you and tells you that she has dropped her pencil into the sewer. What do you do? The Mysterious Benedict Society has great characters, can educate, and will hook you in. This book is a wonderful choice for your free time. Vote for The Mysterious Benedict Society, or have Mr. Curtain destroy you!