By Trenton Lee Stewart
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. With their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.
“Remember the white knight.”
This, like many books, is about being different and finding where you belong. Reynie Muldoon is an orphan who has a special tutor who helps him to find an advertisement in a paper asking gifted children if they want a special opportunity. Only through the encouragement of his tutor does Reynie decide to take the tests, which turn out to be myriad and strange tests. Reynie passes, along with three others: Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. Sticky is the kid who remembers everything he ever reads. Kate is the daring athletic one, keeping everything she needs in her handy bucket, Constance is stubborn and short, and Reynie, well, he’s the one who is able to lead them. This is a little like mission impossible for gifted kids. It’s cute, deep, and warming to read. The above quote is one of the take-aways that I adored from this book, but I won’t spoil it by telling what it means. You’ll have to read it and find out! I enjoyed this story and the inherent goodness of it. It’s about using your unique gifts to make a difference and overcome difficulties and help others.
I give it a 4 out of 5