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Stewart, Trenton Lee.
Boston : Little, Brown, 2007
IL 3-6, RL 5.6
ISBN 0316057770

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Four very bright students took a number of puzzling tests and were admitted to the Mysterious Benedict Society.  Soon, they were sent on a secret and dangerous mission. Follow the clues with them as they go undercover and infiltrate the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened (L.I.V.E.)  (Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards nominee, 2008-2009)

Booktalk #2

Four children, Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance, are on a mission to save the world from the Emergency, but they don’t know it yet. Each of them responded to an odd advertisement in a newspaper which read, “ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES?”

Each of these gifted children has a special talent: Reynie solves puzzles, Sticky has a photographic memory, Kate is a circus performer and Constance…well, no one is sure what Constance’s talent is yet. Constance is a bit of a whiner.

All four have all completed a test where they were the only ones in their rooms to have passed. Very oddly, each of the children were approached by a green-haired girl named Rhonda Kazembe who lost her only pencil for the test down a drain pipe.

A sad but tall man in a “weatherbeaten hat, weatherbeaten jacket, weatherbeaten trousers and weatherbeaten boots” is about to take the children to meet Mr. Benedict.

(Read pages 83-85).

The Mysterious Benedict Society will be enjoyed by the same kind of reader who likes stories with a bit of adventure and intertwined stories such as The View from Saturday.  (Melissa Bowman,, Armstrong Middle School,  Lone Star Book Award nominee, 2008-2009)

Booktalk #3

When she spots the advertisement in the newspaper, Reynie Muldoon’s tutor, Miss Perumal, suggests that Reynie try for the school.  Reynie is an orphan living at Stonetown Orphanage.  He is very bright and the advertisement calls for gifted children to apply for special opportunities.  Reynie agrees to give it a try.  The testing process is rather odd but he passes all the tests.  In the end, only four children are chosen from the hundreds who tested.  George “Sticky” Washington is a rather shy boy with a great memory. Kate Weatherall is a gifted athlete who carries a large bucket of objects with her.  Constance Contraire is a girl with a strong personality and a quick wit.  The four of them finally meet Mr.  Benedict.  He tells them that something very strange is going on and he needs gifted children to help.  The children must agree to help or they leave.  Reynie realizes that all the children are loners; orphans and runaways with no one to really miss them.  The children agree to work with Mr Benedict and then he lets them know what is going on.

SUBJECTS: Adventure and adventurers -- Fiction.
                    Schools -- Fiction.
                    Science fiction.

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