The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.
Honestly, they are just as good now as they were 6 years ago. (I was completely obsessed with them. Seriously. I had a Mysterious Benedict Society themed birthday party.)
Reading them again, I notice so much more. There are some "hidden messages" in the book (yes, this is a reference) that teens and adults understand. (I promise you, they are good messages.)
Oh, and one another thing before I get into the book review. Some awesome fans of the series got together and made a full length film of the movie! Some things are different from the book, but I still think they did a pretty good job! If you are interested in watching it, here is the link to the movie and the trailer. I would like to take a moment and thank them for making me a very happy fan today. :D
About the Book
"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?
Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.
As I mentioned before, The Mysterious Benedict Society was my favorite childhood book series. Today, it still up there in ranking. Why?
Everyone. These. Characters. Are. Amazing. They all have quirks and things that make them unique. Not to mention they are incredibly lovable. Reynie is an average boy with an extraordinary gift of politeness and puzzle solving. This is an epic combination. Sticky (that's not his real name, by the way) is awkward, a nervous wreck (umm...me?), and remembers everything he sees. Him becoming a spy is a sight to see. Kate... Oh my goodness. She is amazing. Kate is an extremely resourceful and outgoing girl. (And she has a dream of being called The Great Kate Weather Machine.) Constance is a very unique addition to the team. She is quite the complainer and prefers to whine through poems. All 4 of these incredible kids work together so well, but they also have their times of disagreement. They are well rounded quirky characters and just...*flails*.
The very name promises an exciting plot. I promise you, there are no disappointments. Think The Girl Who Could Fly meets (insert spy book here).
The "Hidden Messages"
Trenton Lee Stewart packs in a lot of messages into his books. There are so many things I notice now that I didn't when reading them just a few years ago such as the concept of the media lying influencing our thoughts on truth, body image, and priorities. Also it talks of people who love Truth being few in number and attacked by those influenced by Evil. The Mysterious Benedict Society is a pretty deep book.
The Mysterious Benedict Society is a book series that is very dear to me. I love this series and think everyone will love it.
About the Author
TRENTON LEE STEWART is author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series and the adult novel Flood Summer. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.