When a peculiar advertisement appears in the newspaper for children to take part in a secret mission, children everywhere sit a series of mysterious tests. In the end, just four children succeed: Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance. They have three things in common: they are all honest, all remarkably talented and all orphans. They must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is that there are no rules. There they must work as a team to save not only themselves, but also the ...
When a peculiar advertisement appears in the newspaper for children to take part in a secret mission, children everywhere sit a series of mysterious tests. In the end, just four children succeed: Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance. They have three things in common: they are all honest, all remarkably talented and all orphans. They must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is that there are no rules. There they must work as a team to save not only themselves, but also the world outside the walls.
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I enjoyed the variety of characters that are the protagonists in this story. It shows the wide range of ways in which people can be gifted and is wonderfully free from stereotypes. The children have to work together, each contributing what he or she is good at and being patient with one another, in order to solve the problems that arise. This first book is probably my favorite of the series.
Feb 5, 2009
Similar in style to Series of Unfortunate Events, with interesting characters. Long for a kids' book, but worth the time.
Jul 13, 2008
How Come I Haven't Hear This Title Sooner?!
I read this book because it is part of a book discussion group coming up this fall and I am so glad I did. It has a few twists and turns in the beginning but really takes off after a few chapters. Reynie is hard not to like and Kate is amazing with all of her abilities and of course where would they be without Sticky? Lots of adventure in this one, reminds me slightly of The Silver Crown. Very enjoyable.
Mar 27, 2007
Next big thing?
Trenton Lee Stewart's first book, although a weighty tome, both physically and thematically, was zipped through by a 10 year old, a 9 year old and myself, a 30+year old, in less than two weeks. Stewart hooks his readers with awkward, yet sympathetic, protagonists who must confront a villain with a preposterous, but almost possible, plot. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Benedict, the four main characters, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance, must try to undermine the evil Mr. Curtain's attempt to take over the world by broadcasting subconscious propaganda. While the premise sounds ominous, the friendship that develops between the foursome takes center stage over the controversial use of media mind control. Plot twists, secret codes, and brain games make this book engaging, while the antics and comaraderie of the four plus some amusing foils keep the tone light. We're looking forward to the next book by Mr. Stewart and wondering if the Mysterious Benedict Society could outsell A Series of Unfortunate Events and perhaps even challenge Harry Potter if the word gets out.
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