Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dad's Book Club: The Mysterious Benedict Society

This book was recommended by a junior high school teacher friend of mine. Apparently it's all the rage for seventh and eighth graders. (I think Levi would like it a lot--if he hasn't already read it) It looks to be the start of a series, but I believe this is the only one currently published.

The book is an enjoyable light read, definitely adolescent literature genre. Sticky, Constance, Kate, and Reynie, despite their unfortunate upbringing with no reasonable families to speak of, are all children of remarkable skill and intelligence. They all must pass tests and prove their unique abilities in order to take on a challenge to save the world. The beginning of the book is particularly fun to read. As the kids are presented with riddles and questions, the author doesn't reveal the answer, leaving the reader to try to figure it all out before the kids do. After a fun opening, it turns a little hokey and apocalyptic... “If you fail in this quest, All is LOST!” explains Mr. Benedict as they are embarking... no pressure... Once the kids are in the process of working on their quest, the books reads a little like molasses: slow going and not exactly sweet to the taste. However, in spite of a slow middle development of plot, the ending pulls through to be interesting and fun once more— thanks to the Gemini and three candles. Clever.

Overall, I'd give it a high recommendation for youth readers, and a middle recommendation for adult readers. Relaxing, delightful read, but don't plan to be particularly moved or inspired to save the world... especially since you have to be an orphan genius to do so. Too late for me.



At January 12, 2011 3:47 PM , Blogger jcsev said...

Oh,! That's the book our school librarian recommended, up until now I had forgotten the name. Thanks for reminding me! I will now remember to tell Levi that he has a recommendation from his Aunt Danielle! :)

At January 13, 2011 11:10 AM , Blogger Brittany said...

Delaney has read several in this series and really loves them, although I haven't read them yet. Glad you liked it!

At January 19, 2011 7:36 PM , Blogger Cheryl said...

We read this book aloud to our kids a few years ago. It is a fun book!


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