The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

75%

27 Critic Reviews

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.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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.

 

About Trenton Lee Stewart

See more books from this Author
Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series as well as Flood Summer, a novel for adults. He lives in Arkansas with his wife and two sons. Carson Ellis received her BFA from the University of Montana and has established a loyal following for her artistic collaborations with the band the Decemberists. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
 
Published April 1, 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 477 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Mysterious Benedict Society
All: 27 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Good

Low in physical violence, while being rich in moral and ethical issues, as well as in appealingly complex characters and comedy sly and gross, this Lemony Snicket–style outing sprouts hooks for hearts and minds both.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Feb 11 2017

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.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by lilyana on Oct 24 2012

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a very well written and you can understand it so easily that you almost do not have to ask your parents! I would recommend this book to people who like exciting books with mysteries that are solved by children.

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Guardian

Good
on Oct 24 2012

The Mysterious Benedict Society is very well written and you can understand it so easily that you almost do not have to ask your parents!

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Blog Critics

Good
on Jul 13 2008

I love a story that has me forgetting clocks exist. Of all the juvenile fiction I’ve read, Stewart’s is the only one that kept me up all night reading.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Gina Ruiz on Jun 12 2007

Author Trenton Lee Stewart supplies plenty of intricate plot twists and intelligent dialogue. While it is a long story (485 pages), it doesn’t feel long as the writing and storytelling keep the reader engaged until the very end. Both boys and girls will love this story.

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Blog Critics

Good
on Jun 12 2007

Author Trenton Lee Stewart supplies plenty of intricate plot twists and intelligent dialogue.

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Booklist Online

Above average
on Jan 01 2007

The novel could have been shortened, but Stewart writes with such attention to the intricacies of plot and personality, his story rarely feels slow.

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Common Sense Media

Above average
on Mar 01 2007

At nearly 500 pages, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY would have been a much better book at half the size.

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BellaOnline

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Anne Cope on Jul 26 2015

I highly recommend this book for yourself, as well as a gift. Middle school and high school students will enjoy this story. I'm sure it will be added to their collection of “read more than once” or “listen to many times” category.

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BlogHer

Above average
on Apr 19 2008

The Mysterious Benedict Society is Mr. Stewart’s first novel for children, and it’s a corker.

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Kidz World

Above average
on Dec 06 2016

While we’re not going to reveal how the book ends, we can tell you a bit more about the story. We loved (and we’re sure you’ll love, too) the puzzles and clues found throughout the book.

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Kidz World

Good
on Dec 11 2008

Brimming with sneaky adventure, this book rolls humor and action into one.

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http://childrensbooks.about.com

Good
on Feb 11 2017

A delightful mystery, accompanied by Carson Ellis’s endearing pencil sketches make The Mysterious Benedict Society and the books that follow a real treat for fans of comical suspense.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Arthur G on Feb 11 2017

It is a very suspenseful story, with tons of twists and turns. Who will come out on top at the end? You will have to read this book to find out.

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Teen Ink

Good

I just love the journey the book takes you through and the description of the characters.

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Teen Ink

Excellent

With mysterious riddles and hot pursuits, this book will surely keep you on your knees begging for more!

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Teen Ink

Good

If you are someone who reads between the lines and sees the world as a great mystery, welcome to The Society.

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Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Eden on Jul 26 2015

This is an attention-grabbing adventure from start to finish, that will likely appeal most to the older end of the 9-12 age range. The book is long and the plot may be complex for a younger reader. But kids will enjoy the unique talents of each member of the Society...

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http://blogs.slj.com

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bird on Dec 11 2007

...something with “Mysterious Benedict Society” that is worthy of note and similar to Lemony...Stewart also takes into consideration the moral implications of placing children in danger, even if it is for the sake of saving the world.

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Jen Robinson's Book Page

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on Sep 26 2007

I would have adored this book when I was 10 or 11. The Mysterious Benedict Society is a sure winner for middle grade readers, boy and girls, especially if they like puzzles, or reading about mystery and adventure.

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Books 4 Your Kids

Below average
on Aug 21 2009

As some of you know, I have been struggling with this book for months now. Reading in fits and starts, I found it necessary to re-read certain passages in order to pick up threads or try to make sense of obtuse plot points. I am sorry to say that I did not enjoy this book.

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Reading to Know

Good
Reviewed by Carrie on Jul 30 2008

It's creative and well-told and I intend to not only read again myself, but to use it with my children also. Through good books like these, I trust they will learn to view the world.

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https://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Eve Harvey on Feb 08 2017

Since I began reading The Mysterious Benedict Society blog posts, reviews and ratings are springing up all over UK sites, and I’m very pleased about that. It just shows how quickly word gets out when you find a book as good as this one.

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One More Page

Above average
Reviewed by Tina on Aug 05 2015

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a smart and fun book, and while I was a bit lukewarm about it (Maybe that means I won’t be one of those kids who will take that exam. Or pass it. Heh), I think I’d really like to keep this copy around once my nephew is old enough to read.

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https://bfgb.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Laurie on Jan 18 2008

There are no pointy hats or magic wands here, and certainly no Hogwarts. But there is a sense of delight similar to the early Potters.

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http://sonderbooks.com

Above average
on Oct 18 2008

This book is excellent for upper elementary age children who will enjoy some good, clean, and clever fun.

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Reader Rating for The Mysterious Benedict Society
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1610 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Stephanie Lopez

Stephanie Lopez 20 Apr 2015

Added the book to want to read list