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Search tags: Trenton-Lee-Stewart
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review 2017-08-25 18:29
The start of an adventure
The Mysterious Benedict Society - Carson Ellis,Trenton Lee Stewart

I have really been enjoying the exploration of my library's middle grade fiction section. For the most part, I just grabbed books from the shelves that had interesting covers. This led me to The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart with illustrations by Carson Ellis (I told you she'd be mentioned again). If you're looking for a contemporary adventure story mixed with science fiction then you've found the right book (and series). The reader follows 4 orphaned (or semi-orphaned as the case may be) kids as they are taken under the tutelage of Mr. Benedict, a narcoleptic genius intent on saving the world. These aren't your typical children either. They are all gifted in very distinct ways and their combined powers make a heckuva team and that's what Mr. Benedict is counting on to turn the tide in their favor. The kids are set a seemingly impossible mission and are beset with obstacles at every turn. And that is what makes this such a fun and exciting read. I'm being deliberately vague in regards to their gifts and the specific peril that they are fighting against as it would no doubt ruin the twists and turns of Stewart's narrative. Suffice it to say, this was a really enjoyable book and I fully intend to continue the series.

 

Source: priscilla perizeau

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-02-02 20:38
Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums
The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums - Trenton Lee Stewart,Diana Sudyka

I really enjoyed this companion puzzle book. The puzzles range from pretty easy to quite difficult. My favorite part is that the answer key isn't straightforward. It gives you clues that lead you to the correct answer if you're stuck.

 

You can enjoy this book without reading The Mysterious Benedict Society first, but I think fans of the series will get more out of it than someone just looking for a book of puzzles.

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review 2016-12-16 04:34
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society - Carson Ellis,Trenton Lee Stewart

I zipped through the beginning of the book, but the ending took a while to finish. I don't remember having trouble reading any of the books the first time around. Not sure what happened this time (I did feel like there was a lot of telling... maybe that was part of it). But I like the characters so I stuck with it.

 

I haven't started the sequels, but maybe I'll try and squeeze them in before the year ends.

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review 2016-12-14 18:33
The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Secret Keepers - Diana Sudyka,Trenton Lee Stewart

Trenton Lee Stewart had me charmed with The Mysterious Benedict Society. I fell in love with the quick moving, fluid and well-written story line that unfolded on the pages. To say I had high hopes for The Secret Keepers would be an understatement, which probably contributed to disappointment. This book isn't quite up to bar that I had set for it.

First off, this book is honestly much longer than it should be. It stretches the story out to the point where, quite often, there is nothing actually happening on the pages. I can absolutely forgive a book for starting out slowly, as the background and characters are set in place. This book, however, never actually picks up speed. It meanders along, at a plodding pace, to the point that I skimmed a fair amount of pages per chapter and didn't feel like I'd missed anything. The story line itself is solid, and interesting. It's just bogged down by the length it needs to fill.

I also just never fell in love with our main character. Reuben never felt brave to me, only foolhardy and impulsive. While I could see Stewart trying valiantly to outline the reasons why Reuben behaved as he did, it still never felt truthful to me. I'm absolutely enamored with the idea of a boy who loves his mother so much he'd do anything to protect her. Past that, however, it just fell apart for me. I admit that Penny did increase my interest for a while though. So there's that! She's a little spitfire.

Whenever I read a book that is aimed at the Middle Grade crowd, I always try to think about it from that perspective as well. After working with that age of children for many years, and being an avid reader myself well before that age group, I feel comfortable settling myself back into that mindset. That being said, this book doesn't seem like one that would capture their imaginations. It lacks excitement. It was missing that piece that keeps you riveted, tearing through the pages to find out what happens next. Even the ultimate confrontation, the big climax, didn't really come through. Both Middle Grade Jessica and adult Jessica would have felt that lack of real energy. I'd love to recommend this one, but I really can't. Go forth and get lost in the charming world of The Mysterious Benedict Society instead.

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review 2016-11-06 00:00
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart,Carson Ellis Eeeeeh. I can see why the series has become so popular with children, but then children do like to be talked down to and like their characters broadly defined by one or two - one or two only - characteristics and have villains with vague, improbable plans that are easily foiled. In other words, The Mysterious Benedict Society has a bad case of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Eeeeh.

Not a fan.

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