The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society #1)

by Trenton Lee Stewart (Author) Carson Ellis (Illustrator)

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society #1)

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children--two boys and two girls--succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive 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. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Stewart's ("Flood Summer", for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", with puzzles within puzzles and tests within testssome mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherallall of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the "very, very small" Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readerslike the four childrenmay be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious "Sender," to brainwash the population via secret messagesdelivered by childrenembedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12. "(Mar.)"

Copyright 2006 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

After Reynie Muldoon responds to an advertisement recruiting "gifted children looking for special opportunities," he finds himself in a world of mystery and adventure. The 11-year-old orphan is one of four children to complete a series of challenging and creative tasks, and he, Kate, Constance, and Sticky become the Mysterious Benedict Society. After being trained by Mr. Benedict and his assistants, the four travel to an isolated school where children are being trained by a criminal mastermind to participate in his schemes to take over the world. The young investigators need to use their special talents and abilities in order to discover Mr. Curtain's secrets, and their only chance to defeat him is through working together. Readers will challenge their own abilities as they work with the Society members to solve clues and put together the pieces of Mr. Curtain's plan. In spite of a variety of coincidences, Stewart's unusual characters, threatening villains, and dramatic plot twists will grab and hold readers' attention. Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure in "Society", though its length may daunt reluctant or less-secure readers. Underlying themes about the power of media messages and the value of education add to this book's appeal, and a happy ending with hints of more adventures to come make this first-time author one to remember."Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI"

Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Do not miss this one. Buy two copies because they will be needed."—VOYA

the best Trenton lee Stewart

Edit Your Review

I thought it was a good book. i recemond this 10/10 book to others

Mysteries Benedict Society

This book is a cliff hanger book! It has funny, smart characters and much more! All the characters have different backgrounds but they don't wont to tell. Will they figure out what happened? Will they complete the mission? This book is awesome! I hilly recommend reading it!

Trenton Lee Stewart
Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series. He lives in Arkansas with his wife and two sons.

Diana Sudyka received a master of fine arts degree from Northwestern University. She lives and works in Chicago as an artist.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
April 20, 2008
Mysterious Benedict Society
BISAC categories
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
Library of Congress categories
Science fiction
Texas Lone Star Reading List
Commended 2008 - 2009
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2009 - 2009
E.B. White Read Aloud Award
Winner 2008 - 2008
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2008 - 2008
Beehive Awards
Nominee 2010 - 2010
Nene Award
Recommended 2010 - 2010
Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2010 - 2010
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award
Nominee 2009 - 2010
Land of Enchantment Book Award
Nominee 2010 - 2011
Massachusetts Children's Book Award
Winner 2008 - 2009
Iowa Children's Choice (ICCA) Award
Nominee 2010 - 2011
Colorado Children's Book Award
Nominee 2011 - 2011
Golden Sower Award
Honor Book 2010 - 2010
Maine Student Book Award
Fourth Place 2009 - 2009
Volunteer State Book Awards
Nominee 2011 - 2012
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012

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