The Mysterious Benedict Society

Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
My recommended age: 10 and up
Lexile Level: 840 L
DRA 60
Guided reading level: W

Do you think you're gifted? Perhaps you have what it takes to become a member of the Mysterious Benedict Society? After answering a newspaper ad, Reynie (an orphan) finds himself, along with 3 other unusual kids, as an official member of this elite group. These children must infiltrate a seemingly innocent private school in order to undermine a plot for world domination by the evil Mr. Curtain. Their only chance is by working together using each of their individual skills to figure out the clues and save the school and town.

If you like solving puzzles you will love this book. Not being gifted myself, I had to wait for the page when the answers would be explained, but none-the-less I enjoyed them anyway. Stewart blends clues, puzzle solving, and creative writing to make this book a fun read, particularly for kids smarter than me who can figure out the answers on their own. There is some mind control in this book, which I didn't love (after all, I feel like I've lost mine half of the time), but it wasn't offensive by any means. It was fun to let my kids think they were smarter than me by figuring out the puzzles first, maybe now I can let them start balancing my checkbook for me.


Liz writes:

This book has confirmed the fact that I enjoy juvenile fiction. I believe that it takes a really good author to write from a child's perspective and make it entertaining and enjoyable for adults as well as kids.

Mysterious Benedict Society has adventure, action, hope, and even some life lessons in it that I am happy my son and myself noticed  (i.e. maybe it isn't a good idea to watch TV all the time...and there are many things in this world that you really want, but that are EVIL and should be avoided).

I would recommed this one to anyone who doesn't mind reading a book from a 11 year old's perspective.

Happy Reading

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