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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma + The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (The Mysterious Benedict Society) + The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316045520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316045520
  • ASIN: 0316045527
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description

Join the Mysterious Benedict Society as Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance embark on a daring new adventure that threatens to force them apart from their families, friends, and even each other. When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, the foursome must unravel clues relating to a nefarious new plot, while their search for answers brings them closer to danger than ever before.

Filled with page-turning action and mind-bending brain teasers, this wildly inventive journey is sure to delight.



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From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Reynie, Kate, Constance, and Sticky return for a third adventure. This time, the megalomaniac Ledroptha Curtain schemes to regain his deadly Whisperer machine. As Constance develops her powers of mental telepathy, Reynie and the others use their gifted minds to puzzle through Curtain's master plan even as they fall prey to his kidnapping attempt. Imprisoned by well-meaning and sinister characters alike, the Society members face choices that test their loyalty as well as their intellect. Sequels sometimes lack the intensity of the original works, and Prisoner's Dilemma struggles with this syndrome at times. The children's unique talents, long since revealed, are past the startling sparkle of their introduction. As character development yields to a dominant plot, the story lacks the facile agility of its predecessors. On the other hand, the opening gambit is fresh and frightfully funny, as is Constance Contraire always and forever. The writing is replete with rollicking metaphors. Finally, as in the best of E. L. Konigsburg's novels, Stewart's introspective characters examine the significance of their experiences. Unlike most adventurers, these special children see the world surrounding their story and share it with readers. If this is the last Society installment, readers had better, as Reynie says, "acquire a taste for the bittersweet."—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT END

More About the Author

TRENTON LEE STEWART, author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling The Mysterious Benedict Society series and the adult novel Flood Summer, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife and two sons.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
130
4 star
19
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1 star
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See all 152 customer reviews
Can't wait for the next (and hopefully not last) book in this marvelous series.
E. Galindo
The characters are very well developed, and although Stewart is a little green as an author, the story was very well written.
Darla D. Foley
It had action, adventure,and a touch of mystery that gives any book great quality.
orp321

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By George Buttner VINE VOICE on October 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of the series, that alone should persuade you pick up a copy of this book, eh? Well, if that's not enough, than on with my real review...

"The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma" begins with Reynard "Reynie" Muldoon, George "Sticky" Washington, Kate Wetherall and Constance Contraire reunited once again. Yet, as with the beginning of the previous installment ("The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey,") all is not entirely well. The children are prisoners of a sort. Not that they are in prison, but they and their families have been uprooted from their normal homes and, for protection, are being housed by Mr. Benedict, as it has been deemed necessary to keep them under ground due to the continued schemes of the evil Mr. Curtain.

The beginning of the story sees the group being tested with a classic conundrum known as the "Prisoner's Dilemma." I was familiar with the concept going in through the show "Numb3rs," but for those that don't know, Sticky provides an excellent explanation of it in the book-- two prisoners, partners in crime, are arrested, but the police do not have needed evidence against them, so they try to get them to talk. If one talks and the other doesn't, the one that talks goes free, while the other receives a harsh sentence. They can choose to both remain silent, in which both receive a very light sentence. Or if they both betray the other, they both receive a middle of the road sentence. If you're familiar with this series, you may have guessed that the monkey wrench in the works here is Constance, but that the Mysterious Benedict Society comes through in the end.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love this entire series! They are my favorite books. I love solving the mysteries and the characters are fun! I've read # 1 29 times, # 2 19 times and #3 only 1 time. I'm in the 6th grade.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Fletcher on October 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (and the two that precede it), are three of our family's favorite books! We couldn't wait to start the next book as we finished each. When we finally read this last installment, my son said, "It's a shame that we're done reading the best three books in the world!"
We found the stories to be exciting and full of twists, the characters well written and we enjoyed each of their quirky personalities. In fact, we raved so much that my husband read them when we finished, and he enjoyed each just as much. If more people knew about Reynie, Sticky, Constance and Kate, my kid's Halloween costumes would make more sense! I wish Trenton Lee Steward had more children's books like these. We would highly recommend these books to anyone, young or old, that enjoys a good read!
A word of warning (does not spoil): A few times during the series one of the main characters has nightmares about the "Old Hag" and I thought that would suggest things to my kids that had never occurred to them, things like thinking they are going to have nightmares. Thankfully, this is only mentioned very minimally and isn't an integral part of the story so it was easily skipped while reading aloud to my children. That aside, They're great! Read them!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Chen on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At least, for me, it was disappointing. Let's start at the beginning though.

I'll admit, I had not the slightest idea what the Prisoner's Dilemma was, and I thought it to be much more literal. My idea of what it meant went something along the lines of Martina Crowe being in a dilemma. If you look up what the real meaning is, I assure you that it will not give you much of a spoiler, because the title really does not have as much to do with the book as you would expect.

Constance is discovered very early on to have a new power, which is definitely intriguing and curious, though I wonder if it only serves to make it so the ending turns out perfectly for the Society. However, I love the new things we learn about Constance. It's interesting to learn about her background, finally, and it was one of the biggest mysteries I wanted to learn about.

One minor side note that I feel compelled to mention: Kate had finally thought of a rhyme to match Constance's (as another reviewer mentioned) and we never even got to hear it! Or maybe I need to reread the book again...

The plot of this book is obviously centered quite centrally upon Curtain, who has devised yet another plan to get things under his control. Ultimately, the MBS (guess what it stands for?) takes it in to their hands to be the ones to stop it, and, ultimately, the adults find out and decide to take the necessary action. What follows is a clever blend of action, surprise, and some humor that makes this read enjoyable.

So why did I give this book four stars? The ending for me was too perfect. There was a time when I only liked perfect ending, but that time ended long ago, and I found this so unrealistically perfect and odd.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Krista Richards Mann on October 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read these books to my children and they both delight. The language is quick and appealing and the characters are at once familiar and new. Intelligence is admirable and teamwork necessary. There is mystery and adventure and all the things we love as children and long for as adults.
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