Monday, April 3, 2017

The Mysterious Benedict Society - 10th Anniversary

Has it really been eleven years since I first stumbled across this middle grade series?  As Willie Nelson sang, "Funny how time slips away."  One of the perks of bookstore ownership is receiving advance copies of books and getting to smugly tempt readers with info about the "best book ever" that has yet to hit the shelves. 

So, what's it about?

When a peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. But in the end just four very special children will succeed.  Each child who passes the test has an extraordinary and singular talent.  Reynard "Reynie" Muldoon can read people's emotions as well as solve the most complex logic puzzles.  George "Sticky" Washington has a photographic memory; Kate Weatherall displays near Ninja skills although she is only twelve years old, and Constance Contraire is super intelligent - and annoying.   Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened.

The four soon discover that every minute of their day relies on illusion and is governed by an astonishing nothingness and lack of rules.  Who are the good guys and who are the bad?  Is truth always reality or just a perception of something deeper?  As the kids delve into the mystery of exactly who runs the Benedict Society, they find themselves confronted with the most terrifying question of all - is there a sinister motive at hand that could endanger their safety?

This fun book moves at 100 miles a minute, packed with tension and lots of laughs.  The 10 anniversary edition is filled bonus material.  Don't fret, however, if you have an early edition.  The Mysterious Benedict Society website offers gaming options and info on the author and all major characters.  

I sure hope the murmurings about a movie version are true.  For dedicated Beneditine-ers, there are two sequels, and a beyond challenging puzzle book.  Trenton Lee Stewart has also started a new series. Watch for it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh, here's a little silliness for today: MSN news reports that Doris Day is 95 today, two years older than she thought she was.  She's fine by me at either age.