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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2008

268 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5–7—What was supposed to have been a reunion with Mr. Benedict turns into trouble for the four young heroes of The Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown, 2007). Mr. Benedict and his assistant Number 2 have been kidnapped by the evil Mr. Curtain while abroad, so Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance set off to rescue him, aided by a set of clues Mr. Benedict left before his abduction. Adventure and danger await the four onboard an unusual ship, at a castle in Portugal, in the Netherlands, and finally on a mysterious island, where they fall into the hands of Mr. Curtain and his henchmen. It is a combination of courage and their amazing talents that allows the youngsters to squeak out of every predicament. The action takes a while to get going in earnest as more attention is given to the worries and thoughts of the children and to their interactions with the various helpful, eccentric, or nasty adults they meet in their travels. They also learn to understand themselves and one another a little better by the end of their harrowing journey. As a result, this is not just a rip-roaring adventure with plenty of clever twists and hair's-breadth escapes, but also a warm and satisfying tale about friendship.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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From Booklist

The daring foursome from the well-received The Mysterious Benedict Society (2007) returns in a second perilous adventure. As the book opens, the children reunite at Mr. Benedict’s home, where he has arranged a treasure hunt. Alas, they discover that Benedict and his assistant are being held captive somewhere, and dire consequences will result if Benedict’s evil twin doesn’t receive the information he desires in four days. The children undertake a worldwide journey to save Benedict and find the duskwort that will cure his narcolepsy. Lots of backstory is needed to set up this sequel, which makes for a choppy beginning. In the previous book, the protagonist’s personal stories provided heft, but this is pure adventure—lots of racing, scheming, fighting. Punches are pulled on the violence front, but the threat is always there, creating page-turning tension. It’s this roller coaster, along with the essential goodness of the characters (except, perhaps, for Constance), that will draw kids to this breathless follow-up. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316057800
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TRENTON LEE STEWART is author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series and the adult novel Flood Summer. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By George Buttner VINE VOICE on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Mysterious Benedict Society, a group of four children created to thwart the plans of the evil genius Ledroptha Curtain, is fresh off their great victory. The "brainswept" are slowly having their memories returned and everything seems like it should be getting back to normal. It should be the perfect happy ending, yet happy endings are rarely so simple...

All is not well for the Mysterious Benedict Society. Reynie, still shaken by the previous adventures, finds himself having nightmares of being surrounded by snakes. A conversation with Mr. Benedict did little to ease his growing fears that wickedness is something to be generally expected of people. Kate has been living largely on her own wits for the past six months (Milligan largely off doing secret agent work) and Sticky has had trouble convincing his parents that he should be allowed to go to college. As for three-year-old Constance, she continues to struggle with being a young child genius, while the government refuses to even properly acknowledge her existence so she can be adopted by Mr. Benedict.

The group comes together again with the promise of experiencing a great surprise created by Mr. Benedict, but then learns something horrifying. Both Benedict and Number Two have captured by Curtain and his minions -- now going by the name "the Ten Man" -- for the ten different ways they have of torturing people. The only solution may be to follow through with Mr. Benedict's surprise -- an adventure he planned for them that may now be their only way to save him. So, once again, danger and thrills are promised, but also a great read and satisyfing adventure.

The book jacket states that the author, Trenton Lee Stewart, is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Fournier on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For lovers of the first Mysterious Benedict Society novel, here comes another installment of mystery, puzzles and teamwork for your enjoyment.

I love the way Trenton Lee Stewart mentions things that others would leave out, like the varying strengths of children. Reynie is so good at interpreting other's most secret emotions, all by using his common sense and by watching facial expressions, and I've never read about that in a book before. In pointing out subtle strengths of the children, Trenton Lee Stewart makes sure Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are all close to our hearts. Their ability to work together (and sometimes even the way they bicker) is so fun to read about and so realistic.

In this book, The Mysterious Benedict Society is about to have their one year reunion, and a party to celebrate at Mr. Benedict's house. But, upon their arrival, they discover that a sort of ransom note (sent by homing pigeon) has foiled their plans. Mr. Benedict and Number Two, his right hand woman, have been kidnapped! The children, always thoughtful and responsible, waver on whether they should disobey their loved ones to go on this "perilous journey," but alas, they must save their namesake, and go. On this journey, they encounter many puzzles, clues, and mysteries just as intriguing and fun as the first book. I'm so glad to have read another installment of the Mysterious Benedict Society, and I hope they keep coming!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Carol Besse on February 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
by Trenton Lee Stewart
I give this book 5 asterisks out of 5!

This book has engaging characters, imaginative settings, and an exciting plot. As the story evolves,the characters grow and change. Also, the plot has many, often unexpected, twists and turns, but not so many that the reader feels lost. This book is a sequel to "The Mysterious Benedict Society". The reader will not be lost if he/she had not read the first book, as this book has a new conflict. The only thing the reader will lose is a small amount of character development. My favorite part of the book is the climax when the villain, Mr. Curtain, tricks the four unsuspecting protagonists into a trap-you will have to read the book for the details. The book is 440 pages so a lengthy read but definitely worth your time. I would recommend this book to good readers between the ages of 9-14 who want a book with adventure but without sacrificing a strong message or characterization. Fans of the Alex Rider series might also enjoy this book.
In The Perilous Journey, the setting is the least important of the three narrative elements because, as the title suggests, it is a journey story. The most important of the many settings is the uninhabited, rocky island on which the climax takes place. Since it is not named in the book I will simply refer to it as "the island". The island is described with great detail multiple times, "a very large oblong land mass in the middle of a watery nowhere." and "that isolated, wind-blasted place." are just two examples of this desolate place. The largest effect of the setting is the feeling of isolation that it lends to the later part of the book, which subsequently affects the character's actions.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C.Vick on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I think anticipation isalways bound to mess things up a little. I thought the first book was simply fab. Actually, it was the first review I ever posted on this blog, so I have a bit of a soft spot for it. I had such a fun time reading it and meeting all the characters.

I didn't have such a fun time meeting all the characters again.
I understand some re-cap is always going to be necessary. I also understand that you don't want to alienate readers who have not read your series before. However, a significant chunk of the first part of this book was bogged down by reintroducing us to the characters, their life situations, and reminding us how things ended up in the last novel.

Once you get past that, a fairly cool adventure begins. See, Reynie, Sticky, Constance and Kate are all supposed to meet up at Mr. Benedict's house for a surprise, but when they get there, they get a really big surprise -- Mr. Benedict and Number 2 have been kidnapped! Mr. Benedict had been
laying some clues for a fun scavenger hunt for the kids. Now, can the kids use that same trail to find Mr. Benedict? And can they keep out of the way of the scary "Ten Men," so called because they have 10 different ways they can kill someone?

Once it got rolling, the clues in this one were probably even better than in the first. The story will really keep kids guessing -- even I was in for a surprise or two. A caution: there are some pretty tense and violent scenes here. Those "Ten Men" are scary! So even though everything will probably end
in what feels like a satisfying manner, this really isn't an easy or lighthearted journey.

Well, except for when it is being lighthearted. I loved the humor in the first story and this sequel does not dissapoint.
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