I read The Mysterious Benedict Society with one of my daughters not long ago. We were looking for a book we could read together and chose this one because it’s story appealed to both of us despite our age difference. Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society did not disappoint.
In short, it’s the story of a hand-picked group of school kids assembled by an eccentric genius named Nicholas Benedict, to go on a secret mission to save the world. A second eccentric genius, who is mysteriously linked to Mr. Benedict, is brain washing kids and using them to accomplish his evil schemes. It’s up to Mr. Benedict’s new team of four exceptionally smart and talented kids to infiltrate the villain’s network and stop the evil operation. Our young heroes would have to work as a team, use their wits and skills to survive, and try their best to not become brainwashed in the process.
My favorite thing about Mysterious Benedict Society is the way it made being smart into a cool thing. The four kids were chosen for the mission, not because they were good-looking or stronger than the others. They were each selected based on their ability to think outside the box, and succeed using their own unique gifting. All four of our young heroes would have been outcasts in most fictional adventure stories aimed at kids today. But, in The Mysterious Benedict Society, the nerdier the better.
My daughter enjoyed the story as much as I did. She enjoyed following the kids through perilous situations that were both physically and mentally challenging. Mysterious Benedict Society is the first in a series of books featuring the same young team of brainy heroes and their eccentric mentor. I have not read the follow up books, but I can say that my daughter has read them with enthusiasm, and her love for them grows with each new chapter in the series.
More information on the series can be found here.