In the tradition of Roald Dahl, and Lemony Snickett Trenton Lee Stewart has crafted an intriguing mystery where only exceptional children are smart enough to outwit the villain. I enjoyed matching my wits right along with these incredible children as they responded to a mysterious advertisement and completed a bizarre set of tests. Only four passed, but what a group of four children they are who found The Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown and Company 2007).
Reynie Muldoon is an orphan who is always curious and questioning. He is by far the most exceptional student his tutor, Miss Perumal, has ever met. Kate Wetherall, who ran away from the orphanage to join the circus, can perform incredible physical feats and approaches any challenge with optimism and a unique perspective. George “Sticky” Washington instantly memorizes and remembers anything and everything he’s ever read, but he’s not sure he’s up to being brave. Finally, tiny Miss Constance Contraire is, well, quite contrary. No one is sure just what her contribution will be, but they wait and see.
The four join the mysterious Mr. Benedict, the energetic Number 2, hopeful Rhonda Kazembe, and the gloomy Mr. Milligan to defeat the evil Dr. Curtain. Will these four children be able to infiltrate L.I.V.E. (The Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened) on Nomansan Island and discover its true purpose before it’s too late?