you're reading...
Genre: children's books, Genre: Middle Grade, Imprint: Little Brown, Publisher: Hachette, Series: book review

Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society
by Trenton Lee Stewart, illustrated by Carson Ellis 
Hardcover: 9780316057776, Little, Brown (Hachette), $17.99
Paperback: 9780316003957, Little, Brown, $6.99

This post was originally published here in March 2008. This version on Afterthoughts… has been edited from the original post.

I just finished a book called The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

First of all, great title and great author name. Let’s face it, we all judge books by their covers, and I’ve noticed an astonishing correlation between good book titles, good author names, and good reads. Admittedly this doesn’t always ring true, but try it with your favorite books and see if my theory holds up.

So this book…it’s been called a science fiction book but I’m a little bit against placing books in a particular categoy. There are so many stereotypes and connotations (both positive and negative) that go into those words and I’d much rather judge a book on its cover than in its classification. Regardless, I thought it might be a good place to start and then I can break down that science fiction box for you and explain why it’s just a good read.

What is “science-fiction-y” about this book is the central plot. Someone has been sending subliminal messages through television and radio broadcasts. They are undetectible by most humans, so though people are receiving and reacting to these messages, they’re not conscious or aware of that fact. 

Mr. Benedict (the one of the “Mysterious Benedict Society”) IS aware. He’s a scientific genius (and one of the good guys in the book) who has figured out a way to translate and record these messages. Even though he used to be a well-respected government official, no one will listen to him now because they’ve all been slowly brainwashed by those subliminal messages.

This is the best part because this is where the kids come in. Certain children have the ability to resist these subliminal messages. They are young enough and value truth enough that their brains automatically do their best to resist the evil messages. Som Mr. Benedict puts together a team of children as secret spies to go into enemy territory and gather as much information as possible about who and what are sending these messages.

The real story is how this team of four unlikely child heroes have to work together to solve this mission before they themselves can’t resist those messages anymore. All four children have unique talents, but they don’t know how to work as a team or even how to be friends.  

This book is packed with adventure (though it’s not scary), good laughs (though the children in the book don’t always think it’s funny), friendship, teamwork, and yes, a few fights. It will keep you engrossed right to the very end with some surprising twists and turns. For instance – why did Kate’s dad disappear? Does Sticky’s family really not care about him? Why is Constance such a sleepy grouchy baby? Will Reynie ever see Miss Perumal again? How can Mr. Benedict appear to be in two places at once? And how on earth are these 4 kids going to stop THE WHISPERER?

The Mysterious Benedict Society to find out!
Once you’ve read the first book, don’t forget to check out these two sequels:
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (book 2)
by Trenton Lee Stewart, illustrated by Diana Sudyka
Hardcover: 9780316057806, Little, Brown, $16.99
Paperback: 9780316036733, Little, Brown, $6.99

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (book 3)
by Trenton Lee Stewart, illustrated by Diana Sudyka
Hardcover: 9780316045520, Little, Brown, $16.99


About WildlyLived

Creating | Photographing | Reading | Traveling | Writing


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


WildlyRead on Facebook

WildlyRead on Facebook

WildlyRead on Instagram

Loving the #Halloween book display @quailridgebooks!
. . . 
#readstagram #readwithme #readmore #reading #read #spooky #instaread #instabook #indiesfirst #shoplocal #bookstore #bookshop #bookshelves #display #spookyreads #book #books #bookrec #bookworm #bookish #booklove #booklover #quailreads #childrensbooks #picturebooks Couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of THE WORLD SHINES FOR YOU by Jeffrey Burton and @icreature for @simonkids!
. . .
Gorgeous illustrations pop with foil pieces that highlight the words of this simple book, perfect for even the youngest reader. The sweetly lyrical text leads the reader from one - a tree - to many - the forest - and beyond, with each turn of the page showing more and more complex scenes through fall, winter, spring, summer, country, city, morning, and night, until we reach the end where the whole world is shining. I immediately wanted to read it again. For all ages, but especially 1-3-year-olds.
. . .
#bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookrec #book #books #bookish #bookworm #bookstagram #booklover #instabook #instaread #read #reading #readmore #readwithme #readstagram Completed road trip book 1, including a brief review (review below).
. . .
#booklove #bookrec #bookish #books #book #bookstagram #bookworm #booklover #bookstagrammer #instaread #instabook #readstagram #read #reading #readmore #readwithme #readmorebooks #bookreview #bookrecommendations #jdrobb #noraroberts #indeath . . .

Does not disappoint! Another solid read in the In Death series by JD Robb. I've been reading this series since 2013, since before she came out as Nora Roberts, and I keep expecting the next book and then the next book and then the next book to dip in terms of quality of style and content and originality, but it just doesn't (thank goodness!). In #46, Dark in Death, JD ROBB almost makes a play on her own life in ways, as Eve is after a murderer who finds inspiration in a specific author's murder mysteries. Robb literally pays homage to the master of the meta, Hitchcock, with mentions of Psycho and Dial M for Murder, and I'm pretty sure the author she describes is modeled after Robb herself (physically). The plot is pretty tight and focused, but we still get glimpses of Peabody & McNab; Leonardo, Mavis, & Bella; Somerset is still off on holiday; and there is just a peek at the growing romantic interest in Nadine's life, as well as a preview of Nadine's next best-seller based on Eve's police work. I'm looking forward to a future book of Robb's that I'm sure will go into further detail either about Nadine's upcoming Oscar nomination for the first book/movie or the publication and what I'm sure will be subsequent movie of the second book. Enjoy! Weekend road trip, book 1! One of my favorite murder mystery series by the prolific JD Robb aka Nora Roberts. I discovered NAKED IN DEATH (#1) in 2003 and have been reading it ever since. So excited to see what adventure happens in #46! Pub date: January 2018
. . .
#instabook #instaread #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #readstagram #read #reading #readmore #readmorebooks #readwithme #book #books #bookish #bookrec #booklove #jdrobb #noraroberts

WildlyRead on Goodreads

%d bloggers like this: