The Mysterious Benedict Society
by Trenton Lee Stewart
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.
I liked this book because it highlights how each of us are talented in our own way. We can each use our skills and intelligence to contribute to things that matter. This is the first of the four-book series. The reading level will likely challenge many young readers, as it should. Kid’s books are not only simple and shallow, and this book proves it through its well-written and nuanced writing. Each of the kids is uniquely talented, and each uses their skills to contribute to this great adventure.