A blog examining middle grade lit, school librarianship, education and many things bookish!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Go, Trenton Lee Stewart!
Reynie is off to take a test. An important test. A test for gifted children looking for "special opportunities". Reynie's tutor, Miss Perumal, thinks that Reynie is just the child to take said test. Reynie lives at an orphanage in Stonetown, and could use some "special opportunities".
But the whole test set-up is unlike anything that Reynie had expected. The questions seemed a bit odd...especially the last one. "Are you brave?" Just what is this test all about?
Reynie soon finds out as Sticky, Kate and Constance are the only children left after the series of tests. They are soon in the home of Mr. Benedict and his associates - Rhonda, Milligan, and Number 2, where they learn that the four of them have a mission to complete. Being the brightest children around, they need to infiltrate the local private school, and bring down "The Emergency".
Sound cryptic? It is.
The four children each bring something to the mix, and must work together to stop the evil Mr. Curtain from taking over the world.
Trenton Lee Stewart has written a timeless story about friendship, family and trust. Perfectly plotted, The Mysterious Benedict Society calls to mind a combination of Dahl and Bellairs. Just enough evil adults, mixed with a creepy and mysterious situation. The characters are over the top without being unbelievable, and the storyline is just James Bondesque enough.
The story is perfectly timeless in that modern day technology, slang and pop culture are left out all together. This could take place anywhere and anytime. I love that in children's books.
When this title comes out in March, I plan on purchasing it to keep aside for my daughters.
Posted by Stasia D at 8:16 PM
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