[M] The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

14 Apr

Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?

This is the beginning of the ad that the four main characters of this book (series) answer when they start on their adventure.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart is filled with puzzles and mysteries that the reader can try to solve along with the characters. I’ve been trying to teach my students to read critically by asking questions and making predictions, and this would be a great series to get kids to do that naturally.

I was on the fence about reading this book, but when I saw the actual book and the cover at the library, I knew that I would enjoy it. I did, and so did everyone else I recommended it to (including picky fifth grade boys).

The first book is a little slow, and there is some pretty important information to understanding what is going on that is not revealed until the very end of the book. You don’t realize what you’re missing until you read the second book, though, and I think the first book would be better if re-read after finding that new piece of information (I didn’t have time to re-read it, though–I was too busy reading H.I.V.E.).

Kids seem to like it a lot, especially the more precocious ones (this was another word I’d learned from Dealing with Dragons, come to think of it). Great for advanced fourth or fifth graders, boys and girls alike (the main characters are two boys and two girls). Also good for kids who like puzzles or games.

The book also has a great website with all the usual book website stuff, plus games and a link to their free app on iTunes. We have been talking about engaging patrons through social media a lot in my library school classes, and while this isn’t a library, I think it’s a great example of a book that is taking advantage of its content and the technology available to reach out to its target audience.

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter M. 


7 Responses to “[M] The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart”

  1. Stephanie April 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Sounds like a good book for my bright little niece! Thanks for sharing. LOVE interactive books.

    • nita April 15, 2012 at 1:48 am #

      I’m sure she’ll love trying to figure out the puzzle on the cover!

  2. The Mommy Patient April 15, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    My daughter has a few years to go before reading books like this, but going by her personality it will be right up her alley. Interactive websites for children’s books is a great concept. I know my little one will be all over that.

    • nita April 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      You can always read them to her! 😀

  3. Laura Marcella April 15, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Hello! I really enjoyed this trilogy! I haven’t read the new Nicholas Benedict one yet but I’m looking forward to it.

    I love middle-grade literature so I’ll be sure to check out your other posts! Hope you’re having a great weekend and happy A to Z!!

    • nita April 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      Hi Laura, thanks for stopping by! I haven’t read the newest book in the series either. I actually didn’t know about it until I wrote this post, but now I keep checking to see if my local library has it yet!


  1. Book List « nita's books - December 11, 2012

    […] with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede The Seven Towers by Patricia C. Wrede Midnight Magic by Avi The Mysterious Benedict Society* by Trenton Lee Stewart A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz What-the-Dickens: The Story of a […]

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