If you’re looking for a series that packs an adventurous punch and appeals to both boys and girls, check out the bestselling series The Mysterious Benedict Society by award-winning author Trenton Lee Stewart.
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
The newspaper ad draws the attention of numerous children, but only four of them—Reynie Muldoon, Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire—pass the required test of wits. Soon the children find themselves in the company of the mysterious and brilliant Mr. Nicholas Benedict, and when they agree to take on a dangerous mission, they name themselves (of course!) the Mysterious Benedict Society.
Throughout the series, the quartet of intrepid preteens must combine their unique and unusual gifts to beat the bad guys. But where will their missions lead them?
Take our free Mysterious Benedict Society Checklist to your local library!
Trenton Lee Stewart is an American author of fiction for children and adults. This series for children is an adventure-filled trio, each book a thick novel that keeps readers turning pages in anticipation of what will happen next for Stewart’s four precocious heroes.
Stewart’s series offers something for everyone. Upper elementary and middle school students will enjoy reading these books independently, but Stewart’s adventures also make fantastic read-aloud material for lower elementary and up—including mom and dad. Because some of the themes and situations may be too intense for some children, you may want to preview the books before using them with younger, more sensitive children. In fact, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your children’s reading material is appropriate for their age and maturity level.
Children who love riddles will enjoy playing along with the books’ heroes, trying to solve puzzles with the team. Technology lovers will wish they could create Mr. Curtain’s inventions, and more sophisticated readers will happily hunt for the word play that Stewart has sprinkled throughout the series (for example, Constance’s last name is Contraire, hinting at her propensity toward stubbornness). The topics and themes of Stewart’s novels offer many opportunities for further discussion.
The characters and capers in The Mysterious Benedict Society will stick with readers long after the books are finished. Don’t be surprised if you hear your child refer to the stories in everyday life, saying things like, “Mom, I have a memory as good as Sticky Washington!” or “She’s as stubborn as Constance Contraire!”
In the series opener, The Mysterious Benedict Society, your child will meet Nicholas Benedict and his crew of new recruits. From the moment Mr. Benedict enlists the help of the newly formed Mysterious Benedict Society, the excitement begins. There are many surprises along the way as the children head off to L.I.V.E. (Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened) to stop the evil Mr. Curtain from taking over the world.
The second book, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, takes readers on a global scavenger hunt. The game was supposed to be a happy reunion for the Mysterious Benedict Society, but when they discover that Mr. Curtain has captured Mr. Benedict and his assistant, the hunt becomes a lifesaving mission. Once again the four kids must put their unique talents and teamwork to the test to save their friend.
The third book, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, concludes the children’s capers. In the series finale, the kids and Mr. Benedict face off against Mr. Curtain and his henchmen one last time. The crafty Mr. Curtain finds a way to disturb the rhythm of the team’s life, and while things are in upheaval, he strikes. What happens next will keep readers anxiously turning pages right to the very end!
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Genre: young adult fiction
Interests: mystery, suspense, adventure, riddles, saving the world
Suggested age range: 10 and up
Gender preference: girls and boys
In the series: 3 books, 400+ pages each
Do your kids need a little extra encouragement to read? Take our Mysterious Benedict Society checklist to your local library and have your child check off books as he reads them!
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