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The Resource The mysterious Benedict Society, written by Trent Lee Stewart ; illustrated by Carson Ellis

The mysterious Benedict Society, written by Trent Lee Stewart ; illustrated by Carson Ellis

Label
The mysterious Benedict Society
Title
The mysterious Benedict Society
Statement of responsibility
written by Trent Lee Stewart ; illustrated by Carson Ellis
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2008
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2007
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award, 2009.
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 2007.
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2009.
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ Are you a gifted child looking for Special Opportunities? This curious newspaper ad catches the eye of orphan Reynie Muldoon. After taking exams that test both mind and spirit, Reynie is selected along with four other contestants--Sticky Washington, a nervous child with a photographic memory; irrepressible Kate Weatherhill; and a tiny child who lives up to her name, Constance Contraire. The children soon learn theyve been chosen by mysterious Mr. Benedict for an important mission: they are to infiltrate the isolated Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, from which messages of distrust and compliance are being broadcast into the minds of the worlds citizens. Debut novelist Stewart takes some familiar conventions--among them, an orphan struggling against evil forces (Harry Potter, anyone?)--and makes them his own. But like the Potter books, his story goes beyond mere adventures, delving into serious issues, such as the way sloganeering can undermine society--or control it. Through its interesting characters, the book also tackles personal concerns: abandonment, family, loyalty, and facing ones fears. The novel could have been shortened, but Stewart writes with such attention to the intricacies of plot and personality, his story rarely feels slow; only a significant disclosure about Constance seems forced. Smart kids who like Blue Balliets books are the natural audience for this; but, read aloud, the novel will attract many others as well. Illustrations to come. -- Ilene Cooper (Reviewed 01-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 103, number 9, p93)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 5–9— After Reynie Muldoon responds to an advertisement recruiting "gifted children looking for special opportunities," he finds himself in a world of mystery and adventure. The 11-year-old orphan is one of four children to complete a series of challenging and creative tasks, and he, Kate, Constance, and Sticky become the Mysterious Benedict Society. After being trained by Mr. Benedict and his assistants, the four travel to an isolated school where children are being trained by a criminal mastermind to participate in his schemes to take over the world. The young investigators need to use their special talents and abilities in order to discover Mr. Curtain's secrets, and their only chance to defeat him is through working together. Readers will challenge their own abilities as they work with the Society members to solve clues and put together the pieces of Mr. Curtain's plan. In spite of a variety of coincidences, Stewart's unusual characters, threatening villains, and dramatic plot twists will grab and hold readers' attention. Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure in Society , though its length may daunt reluctant or less-secure readers. Underlying themes about the power of media messages and the value of education add to this book's appeal, and a happy ending with hints of more adventures to come make this first-time author one to remember.—Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI --Beth L. Meister (Reviewed March 1, 2007) (School Library Journal, vol 53, issue 3, p219)
  • /* Starred Review */ Stewart's (Flood Summer , for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , with puzzles within puzzles and tests within tests—some mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherall—all of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the "very, very small" Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readers—like the four children—may be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious "Sender," to brainwash the population via secret messages—delivered by children—embedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed December 18, 2006) (Publishers Weekly, vol 253, issue 50, p63)
  • Running long but hung about with cantrips to catch clever readers, Stewart's children's debut pits four exceptional youngsters, plus a quartet of adult allies, against a deranged inventor poised to inflict an involuntary "Improvement" on the world. Recruited by narcoleptic genius Mr. Benedict through a set of subtle tests of character, Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are dispatched to the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened to find out how its brilliant founder, Ledroptha Curtain, is sending out powerful mental messages that are sowing worldwide discord. Gifted with complementary abilities that range from Reynie's brilliance with detail to Constance's universally infuriating contrariness, the four pursue their investigation between seemingly nonsensical lessons and encounters with sneering upper-class "Executives," working up to a frantic climax well-stocked with twists and sudden reversals. Low in physical violence, while being rich in moral and ethical issues, as well as in appealingly complex characters and comedy sly and gross, this Lemony Snicket–style outing sprouts hooks for hearts and minds both—and, appropriately, sample pen-and-ink illustrations that look like Brett Helquist channeling Edward Gorey. (Fantasy. 11-13) (Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
157921
Cataloging source
OJ4
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Stewart, Trenton Lee
Dewey number
[Fic]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Interest level
MG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 9
Reading level
5.6
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1975-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Ellis, Carson
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Mysterious Benedict Society
Series volume
bk. 1
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Schools
  • Adventure and adventurers
  • Schools
  • Science fiction
  • Adventure stories
  • Schools
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
The mysterious Benedict Society, written by Trent Lee Stewart ; illustrated by Carson Ellis
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
  • A "Megan Tingley Books"
  • Includes excerpt from The mysterious Benedict Society and the perilous journey, p. [487-503] the second book, and quiz with answers, p. [504-506]
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • The naming of the crew
  • Nomansan Island
  • Traps and nonsense
  • Beware the Gemini
  • Lessons learned
  • People and places to be avoided
  • Logical conclusions and miscalculations
  • Poison apples, poison worms
  • A surprising suggestion
  • Tests and invitations
  • Pencils, erasers, and disqualification
  • Everything as it should be
  • Of families lost and found
  • Tactical cactupi
  • Caught in the act
  • The waiting room
  • Punishments and promotions
  • Half a riddle
  • The whisperer
  • Open sesame
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Buckets and spectacles
  • Know thine enemy
  • A chess lesson
  • The mouse in the culvert
  • Sacrifices, narrow escapes, and something like a plan
  • Bad news and bad news
  • Sticky's discovery
  • The Great Kate Weather Machine
  • Stands and falls
  • The best medicine
  • Escapes and returns
  • Squares and arrows
  • For every exit, an entrance
  • The trouble with children or, why they are necessary
  • The sender and the messages
  • The men in the maze
  • Codes and histories
  • The thing to come
Control code
1412887
Dimensions
20 cm.
Edition
First Paper over Board Edition.
Extent
485 pages
Isbn
9780316265010
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2006009925
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316265010
  • (OCoLC)908637343
Label
The mysterious Benedict Society, written by Trent Lee Stewart ; illustrated by Carson Ellis
Publication
Copyright
Note
  • A "Megan Tingley Books"
  • Includes excerpt from The mysterious Benedict Society and the perilous journey, p. [487-503] the second book, and quiz with answers, p. [504-506]
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • The naming of the crew
  • Nomansan Island
  • Traps and nonsense
  • Beware the Gemini
  • Lessons learned
  • People and places to be avoided
  • Logical conclusions and miscalculations
  • Poison apples, poison worms
  • A surprising suggestion
  • Tests and invitations
  • Pencils, erasers, and disqualification
  • Everything as it should be
  • Of families lost and found
  • Tactical cactupi
  • Caught in the act
  • The waiting room
  • Punishments and promotions
  • Half a riddle
  • The whisperer
  • Open sesame
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Buckets and spectacles
  • Know thine enemy
  • A chess lesson
  • The mouse in the culvert
  • Sacrifices, narrow escapes, and something like a plan
  • Bad news and bad news
  • Sticky's discovery
  • The Great Kate Weather Machine
  • Stands and falls
  • The best medicine
  • Escapes and returns
  • Squares and arrows
  • For every exit, an entrance
  • The trouble with children or, why they are necessary
  • The sender and the messages
  • The men in the maze
  • Codes and histories
  • The thing to come
Control code
1412887
Dimensions
20 cm.
Edition
First Paper over Board Edition.
Extent
485 pages
Isbn
9780316265010
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2006009925
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316265010
  • (OCoLC)908637343

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
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      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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      30.4223444 -97.7161692
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      30.2166039 -97.79733689999999
    • North Village BranchBorrow it
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      30.362144 -97.7305032
    • University Hills BranchBorrow it
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      30.3093017 -97.6664785
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